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Sullivan County 








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111 assuming the position of editor of the present work we were 
aware of the difficulties in the way of producing such a history as that 
outhned in the prospectus. As the work progressed we found we had 
not overestimated the task, aiifl but for the energy and perseverance of 
the chief historian, Mr. Hill, who has so loyally seconded all of our 
cflforts we should certainly have come short of our own expectations. 

Our readers can scarcely imagine the labor necessary to overcome 
the difficulties of such a work where there is so little authentic data. 
The original intention of giving a history of Sullivan County, for about 
one century, has been adhered to ; but to prepare such a history where 
the public records have been destroyed and all those who realh' made 
the first twenty-five or fifty years of that history have ceased to speak, is 
a difficult task. In a country where annals are kept, and events of each 
year are recorded as they occur, it is an easy matter to select, group and 
condense those events into a sfeneral historv. No such effort is at- 
tempted in this work. Events will not, therefore, be found in chronolo- 
gical order, but must be sought under the head of the subject matter 
under consideration. No attempt has been made to give prominence to 
every little neighborhood event. This would be the work of a daily 
newspaper, and if inserted here would make an encyclopedia instead of a 
history, and hence only those of general interest have been selected. 
Where facts have been recorded they have been consulted, where wit- 
nesses are living they have been examined and cross-questioned — ancient 
newspapers and private documents have been consulted, and even "tables 
of stone," "silent sentinels of the dead" have been visited and asked to 
give up their secrets of other years. 


The chief value of a history is, not to the generation in which it is 
written but to their children and succeeding oenerations. The older 
readers may kiioic many of the facts related, the next generation may 
have heard of them from living ancestors, and thus Iiistory degenerates 
into tradition and in a short time becomes hazy mythology. 

The editor and his associates have made special effort to avoid any 
partiality or favoritism. For such errors the sources of information are 
most to blame. It is so natural for persons to wish to appear a little bet- 
ter than they are and especially a little better than their neighbors. \>ry 
few have the courage of the old battle-scarred general who, sitting for his 
portrait, was asked by the artist if he should not cover up some of the 
scars, answered '"no" — and in commanding tone said "jjaint me as I am." 

It is to be observed, however, that there is a dift'erence between 
partiality and drawing the veil of silence over the errors or mistakes of 
the absent or the dead — the one is justice, the other "charity, that covers 
a multitude of sins." There is no history, with the exception of the 
Bible, that has ever had the courage to rebuke the sins of an individual 
or nation in such unmeasured terms as were used in extolling their 

These things are enumerated, not as an apology, but that the reader 
may have a clearer conception of the difficulties that the publishers have 
had to meet. 

The editor has been in hearty sympathy in the eft'ort to perpetuate 
as far as possible the fast departing land-marks of bxgone generations 
that made us what we are — to pay, in some small degree, the debt we 
owe to them and to hand the same down to future generations. We are 
not vain enough to imagine that our work is perfect. We are aware of 
manv defects. Xor do we suppose that our eft'orts will be appreciated 
in the near future ; but we do believe that it will live and will grow more 
valuable as our county grows older and will furnish a foundation for 
some future historian on which to Iniild. 

The management are indebted to the patrons who have generously 
aided their eft'orts and have made possible the success of the enterprise by 


furnishing much information, and have manifested such patience for 
which we have endeavored to reward them hy improvements which re- 
quired time to make. We commend the work to you as the best could 
be made under ah of the circumstances. We trust our efforts will meet 
all just expectations, and realize that the nearest approach to immortal- 
ity, in this world, is to be embalmed in printer's ink and be laitl away in 

It is manifestly impossible to make individual acknowledgments for 
all the sources of historical information which have supplied the contents 
of this work. But in one case such acknowledgment is due from the 
editor and publishers. The history of the count}- from the beginning of 
the Civil war to the present time is largely based on data obtained from 
the files of the Sullivan Democrat. These files were loaned for the pur- 
pose by Mr. Paul Poynter, proprietor of the Democrat. The task of 
reading each issue of this paper for a period of nearly fifty years, and 
of collecting and classifying the historical notes was performed with 
much care and fidelity by Miss Julia Mason, of the Sullivan Public 
Library. The voluminous notes thus obtained ctndd not all l)e utilized in 
the preparation of this work, and ihey are in many respects a valuable 
historical collection containing a digest of all matters of interest in the 
county's life during, the past fifty years. 

SULLIVAN, July 5, 1909. 



The Historic Background i 

The Old Forts and thi-: First Settlements 7 

Organization of Sullivan County 22 

The Pioneer Men and Women — Genesis of the, Faria' Settlers 33 

Military Annals 84 

Sullivan Colinty Edltcation 118 


Transportation and Communication — The River Trade by 
Flatboat and Steamboat — Days of Stage Coach and 
Wagon 137 

The Era of Railroads and Electricity 147 

The Town of Sullivan 163 

Merom 193 

Carlisle 198 


Shelburn, Farmersburg, Hymera, Paxton, New Lebanon/ 
Graysville, Pleasantville, Cass, Dugger, Fairbanks 205 


County Institutions 217 

Bench and Bar 220 

The Profession of ^Medkixi-: 232 

The Press 238 

Development of the Mineral Wealth 245 

Money and Banking 267 

The Principal Church Organizations 280 

Temperance 295 

Fraternal 304 

Libraries 308 

Drainage 313 

Fairs — The Grange and Other Agricultural Organizations., 318 

Telephones 323 

Rural Pree Delineky 325 

Civil Lists 328 


A Sketch of Indiana Through the Territorial r'i:RioD and up 

to Organization as a State 333 



During the latter half of the seventeenth century, by the discoveries 
and explorations of ^Marquette, Hennepin, Joliet and LaSalle, all the 
country drained by the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and their tributaries 
were added to the vast claims of the French empire in the new world. For 
nearly a century the statecraft and military power of France were tested 
and tried to the utmost in strengthening and maintaining the authority of 
the empire in the territory between New Orleans and Montreal. During 
LaSalle's explorations about the lower end of Lake Michigan and in his 
journeyings from there to the Mississippi, he penetrated northwestern 
Indiana, going as far east as the site of South Bend. Another result of 
his activities was the organization of the various Indian tribes outside of 
the Iroquois confederac}- and the concentration of them all about a cen- 
tral seat in Illinois, so that in 1685 it is probable that Indiana was no 
longer the home of a single Indian tribe. 

To secure all the country between the Mississippi and the Alle- 
ghanies against English aggression, the French projected and founded 



many posts that would command the rivers and the outlets of trade. Sev- 
eral forts were established at the lower end of the Mississippi, and a 
vigorous policy of commercial development and expansion begun. Other 
posts were established higher up the river, Kaskaskia, above the mouth 
of the Ohio, becoming a strategic point of much importance. The French 
captain, Cadillac, by anticipating the English in the settlement of Detroit, 
secured a post of wonderful advantage in dealing with the Indian inhabit- 
ants ^vest of Lake Erie and south of Lake Michigan. The Indian tribes 
that had been drawn into LaSalle's Illinois confederacy were now drifting 
east to the Wabash, the Maumee and about Detroit. To control these 
tribes and prevent their being approached by the English, the French 
authorities in Canada, who claimed jurisdiction on the upper courses of 
the Wabash,* planned the re-location of the tribes and the founding of 
posts among them. The principal settlement of the Miamis was then 
at the head of the Maumee, at a place called Kekionga (the site of Fort 
Wayne). The Ouiatanons lived lower down on the Wabash, and about 
1720 post Ouiatanon was established among them (near the site of 
Lafayette), this being the first military post on the Wabash. From 
this point controlling the ^Miamis and Ouiatanons, was stationed Sieur 
de A'incennes. The authorities of Louisiana, very much exercised by 
the reported encroachments of Engjish traders within the Ohio valley, 
about 1726, won over Vincennes from his service with Canada, and a 
year or so later that intrepid pioneer of France founded on the lower 
course of the Wabash the post which soon became known as Vincennes. 
In a few years some French families from Canada settled around the 
post, and thus was established the first European village in Indiana. 

^The lower Ohio and Wabash and Mississippi were governed as part of the 
Louisiana province of New France. Boisbriant, who had been appointed governor 
of Illinois, founded Fort Chartres (sixteen miles above Kaskaskia) for the pro- 
tection of the upper colony, in 1720. 


Until the close of the French occupation in 1763, Vincennes was included 
in the District of Illinois, which, in turn, was part of the Province of 
Louisiana. The dividing point between the jurisdiction of Canada and 
that of Louisiana was Terre Haute, "the Highlands of the Wabash." 

By such means the authority of France was extended throughout 
all this country, including the present state of Indiana. \^incennes became 
a village of French soldiers and traders and their families. Where 
Lafayette now stands was another French post, and another at the site 
of Fort Wayne. The inevitable conflict between France and England, 
closing with the victory of Wolfe on the plains of Abraham and with 
the treaty of Paris in 1763 by which England became the dominant and 
principal territorial power in the new world, has only a remote interest 
in this discussion. The French and English met at the site of Pittsburg 
in 1754, where Fort DuQuesne was built by the former, and this meeting 
brought on the war which began with the disastrous defeat of Braddock 
by the French and their Indian allies. 

After Wolfe's victory the English took possession of Detroit and 
the posts on the upper Wabash, but Vincennes continued part of French 
Louisiana until the treaty in 1763. The numerous Indian tribes north- 
west of the Ohio, though at first treated with much respect by the Engjish, 
were later wrought upon by the brusque behavior of the English and the 
secret persuasion of the French who still remained in the country. A 
powerful confederacy of the western tribes was formed under the brilliant 
leadership of Pontiac, and during the spring of 1763 a general outbreak 
against the English posts occurred, which has since been known in history 
as Pontiac's war. Few of the inland posts escaped capture, the small 
English garrisons at Ouiatanons and Miamis (Fort Wayne) surrendering 
with the rest. It was not until the following year that such energetic 
measures were taken by the English forces as to break the Indians' 


strength and force the Delawares, Shawanees, jMiamis and other bands 
to sue for peace. Henceforth until the American revolution, the Indian 
inhabitants north of the Ohio gave little trouble to the English, who 
maintained an easy and almost nominal jurisdiction over the posts and 
settlements along the Wabash and down the Mississippi. 

In 1774 all the country northwest of the Ohio was put into the 
boundaries of the Province of Quebec, and several years later the lieu- 
tenant governor of Detroit assmued title of "superintendent of St. 
^'incennes," and took personal command there in 1777. Throughout all 
the years since the first exploration of her territory Indiana was but a 
part of a province of a province. "For ninety years her provincial seat 
of government vacillated between Quebec, New Orleans and ^Montreal, 
with intermediate authority at Fort Chartres and Detroit, and the ultimate 
power at Paris. Then her capital was whisked away to London, without 
the slightest regard to the wishes of her scattered inhabitants, by the 
treaty at Paris. Sixteen years later it came over the Atlantic to Rich- 
mond, on the James, by conquest ; and after a tarry of five years at that 
point it shifted to New York city, then the national seat of government, 
by cession. In 1788 it reached Marietta, Ohio, on its progress to its final 
location. In 1800 it came within the limits of the state."* 

During the Revolutionary w-ar, the danger most dreaded by the 
colonists was that which came from across the western frontier, pro- 
duced by the Indians and their English leaders. At this time a 
considerable population had crossed the mountains from the Atlantic 
colonies into the country along the Ohio, and the county of Kentucky had 
already been organized as a part of Virginia by George Rogers Clark. 
This young Virginian, when it became apparent that a frontier force 
must be maintained to subdue the Indians and check their invasions 

* Dunn 's Indiana, 


under English leadership into the colonies, was selected hy the govern- 
ment of Mrginia to organize and command such a force on the frontier. 
Owing to lack of money and su])plies, the small number of settlers from 
whom his force was to be recruited, and the vast extent of country to 
be covered by his force, the success of Clark's campaign has long been 
a glorious addition to American annals, and his fame fitly symbolized 
with the designation "The Hannibal of the West." Setting out with a 
small force of men. recruited largely in Kentucky, and relying, on the 
support or at least the neutral attitude of the P'rench settlers, he sur- 
prised the post at Kaskaskia, July 4, 1778, and in the course of the same 
month Mncennes became an American post, and the American flag was 
floated for the first time in Indiana, and the French residents welcomed the 
American invaders as friends of their nation. A'incennes was later 
captured by the British and again re-taken by Clark, but the details of 

his campaign are not here pertinent. Suffice it to say that he held the 
vast region of his conquest against all expeditions of the English until 
the close of the war, and when the treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 
the conquered region became a part of the new American republic. By 
the Ordinance of 1787 all this country northwest of the Ohio was organ- 
ized as the Northwest Territory, and provided with a temporary 
government directed by officials appointed by Congress. 

By Clark's conquest, by the Ordinance of 1787 for the government 
of the Territory, and by ordinances, dated in 1785 and 1788, providing 
for the survey and disposal of the public lands of the Territory, the region 
now embraced in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and parts 
of others became a part of the United States and opened to the settlement 
of the pioneer homemakers who formed the first wave of western expan- 
sion. However, the Indian inhabitants were a factor that proved an 


obstacle to the settlement of this region for many years, and it was only 
when they gradually yielded, by war and treaty, their rights to the land 
that the white men were permitted to come in and possess the fertile 
regions north of the Ohio. 


The first settlements in Sullivan county were made on lands that 
the French had obtained from the Indians during the period of the 
French regime. These lands were in the vicinity of Vincennes, and were 
later known as the Vincennes district. The treaty with the Indians for 
these lands was made in 1742, and the general description of the 
boundaries was — "lying between the point above, Pointe Coupee en haut, 
and the river Blanche below the village, with as much land on both sides 
of the Wabash as might be comprised within the said limits." Pointe 
Coupee was a mile or so above the mouth of Busseron creek, in the 
southwest corner of what is now Gill township. The village referred to 
in the treaty was, of course, Vincennes, and the river Blanche was White 
river. Thus the lands granted to the French by this treaty comprised 
practically all of Knox county, the southern portion of Sullivan county, 
besides some lands on the west side of the Wabash. 

Some of this land was occupied by the residents of the country 
during the French and British control of the territory. After the Amer- 
ican conquest, and while Vincennes was commanded by governors from 
Virginia, further dispositions of the lands were made under the authority 
of the local officials. After the organization of the Northwest Territory 
in 1787, the disposal of the lands was regulated by Congress. 



In 1791 Congress passed a land law upon which were based subse- 
quent titles to the lands of this district. This law provided : 

1. That 400 acres of land should be given to the head of each 
faniilv residing at X'^incennes or in the Illinois countrv in the vear 

■ 1783;' 

2. That a tract of land containing 5.400 acres near X'incennes, 
which had been under fence and used as a pasture for thirty years, 
should be given to the inhabitants of Vincennes to be used by them 
as a common until otherwise disposed of by law ; 

3. That the governor of the territory be authorized to donate 
a tract of lanfl of 100 acres to each man who on the ist of August, 
1790, was enrolled in the militia, had done militia duty and had 
not received a donation ; 

4. That the governor upon application should confirm to heads 
of families the lands which they may have possessed and which may 
have been allotted to them according to the usages of the government 
under which they had respectively settled ; 

5. That where lands had been actually cultivated and improved 
at Vincennes or in the Illinois country, under a supposed grant of 
the same by any conimandant or court claiming authority to make 
such grant, the governor might confirm such claim not exceeding 
400 acres to each person. 

The bodies of land described in the first section have since been 
known as "donations ;" those in the third paragraph, as "militia dona- 
tions ;" and the last classes are generally known as "siu'vevs." 

The status of the lands in the A incennes district at about the time 
the first settlements were platted in Sullivan county is described in a 
letter from General Harrison to James IMadison in January, 1802. He 
said that the governors' courts maintained at Mncennes under the author- 
ity of the Virginia commonwealth from 1779 on had assumed the right 
to grant land to all applicants ; that they did this for a time without 
opposition, and concluded that, as they were not interrupted, they could 
continue as they pleased ; that finally the whole country, to which the 


Indian title was supposed to be extinguished, was divided between the 
members of the court and perhaps others^ the lands thus disposed of 
extending along the Wabash river from La Pointe Coupee to the mouth 
of White river and forty leagues west and thirty east, excluding only 
the lands surrounding Vincennes, which had been granted to the old 
residents. The authors of this division had later perceived that their 
course was illegal, and the scheme was abandoned, but was revived a few 
years before 1802, and portions of the land purchased by speculators 
and sold fraudulently to eastern settlers. Harrison stated that upward 
of 500 persons had settled or would soon settle upon these lands in conse- 
quence of these frauds, that the owners pretended that the court had 
ample authority from Virginia to grant the land, and that speculators 
had gone to Virginia, had secured a deed for a large tract, had had it 
recorded and duly authenticated, and had then made their fraudulent 
transfers to the credulous. 

A large amount of litigation rose from this condition of land claims, 
and it was several years before the claims were investigated and settled 
bv the government commissioners. A more complete account of the 
subject is not pertinent to the history of Sullivan county. But the fact 
that much of this land got into the hands of speculators and was offered 
for sale in Virginia to prospective homeseekers no doubt explains the 
cause that attracted some of the first settlers to the region now included in 
Sullivan county. 

The lands about Vincennes were, as already stated, ceded by the 
Indians to the French in 1742. But on June 7, 1803, General Harrison 
concluded a treaty with the Delawares, Shawnees, Pottawatomies, jMiamis, 
Eel River Weeas, Kickapoos, Piankeshaws and Kaskaskias, which con- 
firmed this cession. The northern boundary of this cession, as described 
in the treatv, is a matter of historv in Sullivan county. Pointe Coupee on 


the \\'abash, just above the mouth of the Busseron, was the principal 
point on this boundary. The Hne did not run due east and west through 
this point, but at an angle of 12 degrees from this direction, its general 
course being from northwest to southeast. The treaty also provided that 
in case some of settlements and locations of land made by the citizens 
of the United States should fall in the Indian country, the boundary 
might be altered to include these settlements. 

This is the origin of the "Old Indian Boundary" in Sullivan county, 
a line that often figures in the land descriptions of the southern portion 
of the county. A small portion of the southwest corners of Gill and 
Jefiferson townships is south of this Hne, and the greater part of Haddon 
township is by this line shown to be in the cession which was confirmed 
by the treaty of 1803. In Haddon township the boundary leaves the 
straight course at right angles so as to include within the ceded area 
a rectangular body of land lying about three miles northeast of the 
general direction of the boundary. In this rectangle is the town of 
Carlisle. It is probable that when the survey was made this deviation 
from the regular course was made in accordance with the clause of the 
treaty above noted, in order to include some settlement or settlements that 
otherwise would have been left in the unceded Indian country. 

TJic Fort Settlements. 

In the boundaries of this "Old Purchase," as it was called, were 
planted the first settlements of Sullivan county. It is probable that in 
1803. at the time of the treaty, some of the lands south of the Indian boun- 
dary were in the nominal possession of certain individuals who claimed 
them by right of one of the methods above described. So far as can be 
learned there was no actual settlement in Sullivan county previous to the 
year 1803. The family of James Ledgerwood came to this vicinity in 


1803, and his is the first pioneer name of prominence in the county. It is 
hardly possible that he was the first and only person who deserved the 
honor of first making- a home within the limits of the county. Others 
came, doubtless, about the same time, but either because they did not re- 
main long or because they were not of the prominence to impress them- 
selves on the memories of later residents, there is no record of name or 
fact concerning them. 

The Ledgerwoods settled on the Busseron, as did the majority of the 
first comers to this region. In a few years the locality at the northern 
edge of the Old Purchase was called, for purposes of distinction, "the 
Busseron settlement," and in 1808, when the northern part of Knox 
county was set ofif into a single township, it received the name of Bus- 
seron. Busseron was the name of one of the leaders of the militia at \'in- 
cennes about 1790. 

The Ledgerwood family settled west of Carlisle. When they con- 
structed a habitation they also made it a castle of defense against the In- 
dians. The distinguishing feature of the "block houses" or "forts," of 
which there were several in the southern part of the county in the first 
decade of the last century, was the projecting upper story, with numerous 
loopholes, from which the assailants were exposed to the guns of the de- 
fenders above, and all entrances to the building w^ere thus guarded by the 
overhanging story. 

These block houses were built of the very strongest timbers that 
could be obtained, and required both more time and labor for building 
than the ordinary log homes of the early settlers. When built they served 
not alone for the protection of the individual household, but each became a 
central gathering place and fortress for the entire neighborhood during 
times of.danger. 

In^the vicinitv of Carlisle and within the limits of what is now Sul- 


livan county there were four block houses during the first decade of the 
century, each being- the home of one of the prominent famihes of the 
county, and each one serving as a refuge for the other famihes Hving near 
by. Fort Haddon was built about 1806, and took its name from the 
pioneer John Haddon and family, who came from Virginia in that year. 
Those who assisted in the construction of this fort were Frank Williams, 
Joel Price, Thomas Holder Sr., John Haddon, William Price, John Mc- 
Connell, John Ingle, James Black, Thomas Anderson, Joel Collins, and 
Edward Purcell. A block house was also built by the Holder family, who 
setted here in 1807, and one by the Lismans. At the time of the Indian 
hostilities which preceded and continued through the war of 181 2. these 
were the places where all the people of the vicinity gathered on occasion 
of an Indian alarm, and they naturally came to be known as Fort Haddon, 
Fort Holder, etc. 

During the first decade of the last century little direct historical testi- 
mony can be found concerning the settlers about Carlisle and along the 
Busseron. An examination of the files of the Mncennes JVcsfcni Sun, 
which began publication in 1807, brings to light an occasional item con- 
cerning the people of this vicinity. These items are often valuable in 
fixing the dates of settlement by different families. 

At that time Vincennes was the business and of^cial center for this 
county, and the inhabitants on the Busseron went there to get their mail 
and to transact all business that connected them with the ouside world. A 
list of advertised letters at the \"incennes postof¥ice on July i, 1807, dis- 
closes two names that belong to the pioneer history of this region — Samuel 
Ledgerwood and Robert Gill. The latter was no doubt a member of the 
family which gave name to the prairie in the southwest corner of this 
county and later to the township. The date when the Gill family reached 
Sullivan countv cannot be given with assurance, but it is said that one 


of the name was among the advance pioneers who explored this region 
before any of the permanent settlers had arrived. In the advertised let- 
ters for October, 1807, appeared the name "Jesse Haden." 

.Aiiiother evidence concerning the pioneer settlement was a notice 
published in the issue of December 2, 1807, of the incorporation of the 
Wabash Baptist church, including the members "residing on Bussroe," the 
notice being signed by Newlon E. Westfall. 

On April 3, 1809. an election was held for representative of Knox 
count}-. The electors of Busseron township, according to the published 
notice, were to meet at the house of John Haddon Esq. John Haddon 
was himself a candidate for the office of representative, receiving 120 
votes in the county. Busseron township at this election cast 94 votes. 
Another election was held on May 22, 1809,, for an additional representa- 
tive to the legislature, and John Haddon was this time the successful can- 
didate. He was probably the only member of the territorial legislatures 
who lived within the boundaries of the present Sullivan county. 

Up to this time the country north of the Indian Boundary above de- 
scribed was not open to settlement, and thus the greater part of our pres- 
ent county had not been redeemed from barbarism. But in 1809 was 
effected a treaty with the Indians which not only brought into the public 
domain a large territory including this county, but was one of the causes 
for the uprising of the Indians under Tecumseh which preceded the open- 
ing of the w^ar of 18 12. 

By the Indian treaty of September 30, 1809, the Indians ceded all the 
country between the boundary line established by the treaty of 1803, the 
Wabash river, and a line drawn from the mouth of Raccoon creek in a 
southeasterly direction to White river. Raccoon creek is a few miles 
above Terre Haute, so that by this treaty the United States public domain 
was extended from about the localitv of Carlisle to about the northern 


limit of \ igo county. The area gained by this treaty was called the "New 
Purchase," in distinction from the "Old Purchase," which lay south of the 
Indian Boundary line. These lands were not open for public entry and 
sale until 1816, but under land warrants and by actual occupation many 
settlers had gone into this region before this time. 

But for five or six years after the treaty of 1809 the permanent set- 
tlements of this country were greatly disturbed and further influx of set- 
tlers much retarded by the Indian hostilities which preceded and accom- 
panied the war of 1812. The Indians had not failed to regard with jeal- 
ousy the gradual encroachment of the whites upon their hunting grounds, 
and when, in 1809, several of the tribes ceded a large tract of territory to 
the American government, Tecumseh opposed the treaty, declaring that 
one or several of the tribes could not barter away the lands that belonged 
to all the Indian nations in the confederacy. Despite the efforts of Gov- 
ernor Harrison toward breaking up the confederacy which had its center 
about Prophet's Town, the Indians became more hostile every day. Small 
parties appeared in different parts of the territory, stealing and occasion- 
ally taking, the lives of settlers. Tecumseh and his brother became more 
insolent in the conference with the governor, and, on the eve of the second 
war with Great Britain, a secret British influence increased the disaffection 
of the tribes. 

Then followed the campaign of General Harrison against the Indians, 
the building of Fort Harrison, the battle of Tippecanoe, which eft'ectually 
broke the resistance of the Indian confederacy, the attack on Fort Harri- 
son, and the subsequent desultory hostilities which kept all the settlers 
within reach of the forts and block houses throughout the duration of the 
war. These were events of general history, and only in a few instances 
concerned Sullivan county more than other counties. A few items in the 
Western Sun mention the movements of the troops through this county 


and other incidents of the period. In the issue of November 23, 181 1, 
it is stated that "on Sunday last the governor arrived with the army on 
the Busseron about 20 miles above here, where the troops from the eastern 
counties of the territory and Kentucky were discharged." In October, 
1812, it is noted that Major General Samuel Hopkins with his army 
started up the river toward Prophet's Town, having about 4,000 men, 
2,500 of whom were mounted volunteers. This was the unfortunate ex- 
pedition which, partly owing to the incapacity of the leader and also to the 
rebellious conduct of the troops, left a record along its route of plunder 
and destruction among the white residents and against the real enemy 
effected little or nothing during the few weeks of the campaigxi. In the 
issue of the Western Sun of November 3, 181 2, is the statement that the 
Kentucky mounted troops had returned to Busseron, where they were 

A tax sale advertisement in the Sim of May 26, 1812, relating to delin- 
quent taxpayers on Busseron creek, contains the names of some of the 
residents of that vicinity — John Dooley, John Culbert, Thomas Barton, 
Matthew Dobins, Abraham Huff, Daniel Hazelton, John Johnson, heirs of 
James Ledgerwood, and Francis Williams. 

Of more interest is the following advertisement, dated May 16, 1814: 
— "Grist mill for sale. Will be exposed to public sale on the 3d day of 
June next, a saw and grist mill with five acres of land, laying on Busseron 
creek, formerly known b}' the name of Ledgerwood's Mill. Twelve 
months' credit will be given. — William Ledgerw^ood." This was the orig- 
inal mill of Sullivan county, and at this date the only one along Bussero:v 
creek except the one in the Shaker settlement. 

Another item of civil affairs at this time was mention of the election 
in Busseron towmship to be held at the house of John Curry, which is the 


first mention of that pioneer name in the annals of the county. This elec- 
tion notice is in the issue of June 29, 1814. 

Recurring to the Indian hostilities of this period, there are a few 
brief items in the Jl'cstcni Sun that afiford a contemporaneous view of 
some events which have a large place in the Indian annals of Sullivan 

In the issue of December 3, 18 14, is reported the fact that the Indians 
had again been committing depredations on the frontier. "On Saturday 
and Sunday nights last they stole a number of horses from the Busseron 
settlement." The paper of March 4, 18 15, gives the report of one man 
killed and one wounded on the Busseron, this evidently referring to the 
Dudley ?^Iack massacre. The Sun of May 13, 1815, has the following 
paragraph : "We have to record the murder of another of our fellow 
citizens by our friends the Indmis. On Saturday night last Mr. Davis 
from Kentucky was killed by them near Fort Harrison. We have also 
learnt that the two boys taken prisoners by them some time ago on Bus- 
seron have been murdered." The last of these records of Indian hos- 
tilities in this vicinity is in the issue of May 20, 1815. "On the 13th Lieut. 
Morrison with 16 men was surprised and his party dispersed by the In- 
dians between Busseron and Fort Harrison. Five bodies have been found 
and three are missing." 

There are several local accounts of the Indian depredations which are 
thus briefly referred to in the newspaper items. In the former history of 
the county were published the various versions of the Dudley Mack and 
other Indian depredations, most of the information on the subject coming, 
it was said, from Dr. Helms. These accounts are repeated substantially 
as then given. 

On Sunday afternoon, February 12, 1815, Dudley Mack and Madison 
Collins were on their wav home from Shakertown, and had reached the 


east side of Busseron creek, near Lisman's ford, on Survey 20, when they 
were surprised by four Indians, who commenced firing upon them, killing- 
Mack instantly and wounding Collins severely. When Collins was struck 
he fell from liis horse, and, though bleeding profusely from, several 
wounds, he ran toward a road nearby, and just as he reached it his horse 
came dashing, up to him. With the desperation of a drowning man he 
swung his body over the back of the faithful animal. At this instant one 
of the Indians ran up and hurled his tomahawk, which struck the horse 
in the ear and caused it to dash off at full speed toward the block house, 
three quarters of a mile distant. Arriving there the wounded man was 
well taken care of, but there being no surgeon nearer than Vincennes, one 
of the Haddons was posted off to that point, and hours had to elapse 
before the wounds could be properly dressed. Collins eventually recov- 
ered. The body of Mack was buried in the Jonathan Webb graveyard, 
on the edge of Gill's prairie. 

On the same afternoon of the above occurrence, two boys, named 
Campbell and Edwards, took their guns with them when they went for the 
cows, intending to kill some wolves which had been seen in their neighbor- 
hood. They never returned from the woods, and were never heard of 
again, though it was reported in the Sitii. as above stated, that they were 

The most interesting and detailed account of the country along the 
Wabash and about Fort Harrison as it was at the close of the war of 1812 
and when settlement was just beginning to change the wilderness is 
afforded in an old book, entitled "Travels through the Western Country in 
the Summer of 1816," by David Thomas. The book was printed in 1819, 
and some of the facts have been brought up to 1819, though in general the 
diary kept by this industrious and observing traveler describes things as 
they were during the summer of 1816. The author had journeyed down 
Vol. 1—2 


the Ohio and up to X'incenncs, and it is after setting out from the old 
capital that we will join the traveler as he passes over the country fron^ 
X'incennes to the northern edge of settlement. 


"Eight miles above Vincennes we passed from the woodland flats 
into the south end of the prairie that extends up to Shakertown. 
. . . .Shakertown, the residence of the Shakers, consists of 
eight or ten houses of hewn logs, situate on a ridge west of the bayou, 
eighteen miles above Vincennes. The site is moderately elevated. 
As we approached, the blackness of the soil, and the luxuriance of 
vegetation, was peculiarly attractive ; but much water was standing on 
the low ground to the east ; and a mill pond on Busseron creek must 

sufifuse the whole village with unwholesome exhalations 

The number of inhabitants is estimated at two hundred, who live in 
four families. .. .Marriage is prohibited. From dancing, as an act 
of devotion, their name is derived. Like several other sects, they 
conform to great plainness in apparel, but their garb is peculiar. In 
language they are also very distinguishable. . . .In their dealings they 
are esteemed as very honest and exemplary. Until within a few 
months they entertained travelers without any compensation ; but the 
influx has become so great that they have found it necessary to depart 
from this practice. . . .The estate at this place consists of about 1,300 
acres. The mills which they have erected are a great accommodation 
to this part of the country, and to these they have added carding 
machines. . . .These people settled here before the late war [1812-15] ; 
but after their estate was ravaged by the troops who went with Hop- 
kins on his expedition, they sought refuge amongst their own sect in 
Ohio and Kentucky, and onlv returned last summer. . . . 


"After procuring some refreshment [at Shakertown], we re- 
sumed our journey — turning- eastward, and nearly at right agles to 
the river, intending to visit M. Hoggatt, to whom we had been cH- 
rected by our friends at Lick Creek. He resides on a farm belong- 
ing to the Shakers, at the distance of seven miles .... Our friend has 
resided between two and three years on this farm. On his first re- 
moval from North Carolina, he fixed his abode at Blue River ; but 
came hither to explore the lands of the New Purchase previous to the 
sale. These lands have excited much attention, but various circum- 
stances have conspired to prevent the surveys from being com- 
pleted. . . . 

French Lands. 

"To satisfy the claims of the old French settlers, the United 
States directed to be set apart all the lands bounded on the west by 
the Wabash river ; on the south by the White river ; on the east by 
the West branch ; and on the north by the north bounds of the Old 
Purchase. Four hundred acres was assigned to each person entitled 
to a donation. The land has never been surveyed by order of the 
government, consequently it has never been regularly performed ; 
and the maps of this territory within these boundaries are generally 
blank. .. .AH lands held in this quarter are therefore under French 
grants (except some militia claims). In locating, it was necessary 
to begin at the general boundary, or at some corner of lands, the lines 
of which would lead thither ; but no course was given, and the claim- 
ant settled the point with his surveyor as he deemed most to his 

interest .... 

From Shakerfozi'ii to Fort Harrison. 

"Accompanied by our kind friend AI. H. [Hoggatt] we com- 
menced our journey for Fort Harrison. Our road led northwesterly 


through prairies principally composed of clay, though very fertile and 
interspersed with fine farms. . . .At the end of seven miles we crossed 
I TUisseron creekj at a mill. . . .We then passed through harrens (so 
called), which produced corn of uncommon luxuriance. .. .At the 
distance of three miles we came out into the Gill's prairie, where the 
extent and heauty of the scene and the luxuriance of the corn excited 
our admiration ; hut the driftwood was deposited in lines above the 
level of no inconsiderable part of this fine tract. Indeed, we have 
seen none except the X'incennes prairie that is free from bayous. . . . 
This bayou, ten miles in length, receives its waters from Turtle creek. 
"We were now within the limits of the New Purchase, and con- 
sequently none of the few inhabitants who have fixed here can have 
titles to the land except through the intervention of Canadian 


"At Turtle Creek the woodland commences. .. .Our route still 
led through woodlands. We had five miles further to travel, and 
the approach of evening induced us to mend our pace. But it be- 
came dark before we arrived at Tarman's [Turman's] where we 
lodged. .. .This person with his family resided here before the late 
war. A small prairie of 200 or 300 acres, known by his name, and 
bordered by thick woods, except toward the river, chiefly contains the 
improvements. Last spring, they removed from the prairie to a new 
cabin in the woodlands, near the road. The upper story of this 
building projects for the purpose of defense; and may serve as a 
memorial of the apprehensions which overspread the white settlers 
before the late treaty with the Indians at Fort Harrison. A short 
time before the approach of those persons who came with Hopkins, 
this family, fearful of the Indians, abandoned their dwelling and 
retired down the river. In the hurry of removal many articles were 


necessarily left behind. When the band arrived they wasted every- 
thing that could be found ; and the sons told me that their hogs and 
neat cattle were wantonly shot down, and left untouched where they 


"After breakfast we continued our journey. Several families 
have fixed their abode one or two miles further north ; and so much 
confidence has been felt in the right of possession that a sawmill has 
been erected in the present season [1816] on a small creek. We 
should be gratified hereafter to learn that such industry and enter- 
prise have been respected. In this neighborhood we passed a coal 
mine, which has been recently opened, though the work has been but 
partially performed .... As the excavation is made in the channel of 
a small brook, the torrent, by removing the loose earth, doubtless led 
to this discovery. All the strata of this fossil that we have seen in the 
western country has appeared near the surface ; and it would not 
surprise me, if it should be brought forth in a thousand places where 
the shovel and the pickaxe have never yet been employed " 


During 1815 and 1816 there was a large immigration into the north- 
ern portion of Knox county. Settlement had progressed as far north 
as Fort Harrison and with the opening of the land sales for the New 
Purchase lands in 181 6 all the desirable tracts were quickly taken up. 
There was every reason for the division of the old Knox county and the 
creation from its territory of several new civil divisions. The prospect of 
the creation of a new county excited considerable speculative activity in 
the laying out and promotion of townsites which at the proper time 
would be in a position to bid for the privilege of becoming the county 
seat of the new county. 

The history of the town of Carlisle, elsewhere given, shows that this 
prospect was at the origin of that village. Up to this time the settlers 
in this vicinity had been grouped in the vicinity of the block houses and 
the Ledgerwood mill, but there was as yet no townsite. The first sale 
of lots in the townsite of Carlisle occurred June 23, 1815. But other 
rivals were also contending for the honors of being the seat of justice 
for the county which everyone confidently expected would be formed 
within a year. 



The town of Busseron was also promoted. The proprietors of the 
site were James B. McCall and James Dunkin. Their agent, David Por- 
ter, in an advertisement dated at Busseron June 21, 1815, announced: 
"This town was first named and pubHshed 'Indiana,' the proprietors for 
the sake of conspicuity have changed it to Busseron. The town is laid 
out in squares, with 12 lots in a square. In the center is a square reserved 
for county buildings. . . . Busseron is situated on the north end of 
the beautiful prairie of the same name, twenty miles north of Vincennes, 
two miles from the Shaker settlement, one mile from Busseron creek, 
and three miles from the Wabash. . . . There is a fine settlement 
around this place, . . . two saw and two grist mills within two to 
five miles. . . , There is every prospect of this place being the seat 
of justice of the new county." 

This was not the only townsite laid out as the prospective county 
seat. In 1816 Monroe was elected president of the L^nited States, and 
two citizens of Sullivan county sought to commemorate his name bv giv- 
ing it to a town. These citizens were Benjamin Turman and Thomas C. 
Shields. It is known that the former was one of the first settlers on 
Turman's prairie, and it is probable that the town of Monroe was in 
what is now Turman township. What we know about this townsite is 
derived from an advertisement in the IVcstcni Siiji of June 28, 1817. 
The proprietors above named advertise that in consequence of the seat of 
justice having been located elsewhere, on payment of the first installment 
on the lots sold in Monroe and the return of the title bonds, the pur- 
chasers would be released from further payments. 

The history of the organization of Sullivan county and the location 
of its first seat of justice cannot be told in detail, since there are no 
county records of the period. An act of the legislature in January, 1816, 
directed that the townships of Palmyra and Busseron in Knox county be 


extended north to the "Harrison purchase Hne," meaning thereby to the 
hne of the purchase of 1809. This placed, temporarily, all of the terri- 
tory later comprised in Sullivan and \'igo counties in the two townships 
named, and so it remained until the organization of the new county. 
An election notice published in May, 1816, mentions two names one of 
\vhich is especially well known as a pioneer of Sullivan county. The 
election was designated to be held in the house of William Purcell for 
Palmyra township and in the house of Joseph Latshaw for Busseror. 

Another item in the Sun is also of interest at this time just before 
the organization of the county. The matter of Canadian land warrants 
has been referred to in the extract from the Thomas travel journal, in 
the Western Sun of May 25, 1816, attention is called to an act granting 
bounties in land and extra pay to "certain Canadian volunteers," passed 
bv Congress JNIarch 5, 1816. President Madison proclaimed that the 
warrants might be located on lands in either the Vincennes or Jefferson- 
ville districts. 

The firi-t public sale of lands in the New Purchase occurred a few 
months before the organization of Sullivan county. It was through this 
sale that the belter lands of the county were purchased and a most impor- 
tant step taken toward the permanent settlement of the country. Pre- 
vious to that time many settlers had located north of the old Indian Bound- 
ary line, but their rights in the land were those of actual settle'iient, 
without legal title to their homes. 

The following paragraph from the Thomas diary concerns the land 
sales : "All the best lands near the Wabash river, which have not been 
reserved by the government or located by Canadian claimants, were sold 
at auction in the 9 mo., 1816. Aluch land of the second and third quality 
(and no inconsiderable part of these kinds is very fertile), remained, 


however, for an entry of two dollars an acre payable within four vears, 
by installments. One Fourth within two years and the remainder in two 
equal annual payments. This condition is the rule ; and ei^^ht percent 
interest is added to all payments after such become due, and eight percent 
discount is allowed for prompt pay. Thus, lands paid for at the time; of 
entry cost only one dollar and sixty-three cents [$1.83?) an acre. To 
accomniodate persons who may be unprepared to make a paj-mcnt in full 
— or who may wish to secure a lot while they make further discoveries 
— lands are permitted to be entered for a certain number of days. This 
privilege, however, has been abused. Entries have been made for the 
sun^. of sixteen dollars (one-twentieth of the purchase monev). '.vhich 
confers the right to remove within forty days every valuable timber tree 
from the premises ; and if no other purchaser appears, the term is e\ en 
lengthened to 90 days. Last winter (1817-18) from five to ten flollars 
was the price of prairie lands, and from two to five the price of wckjJ 

The following list of land purchasers in Sullivan county during the 
years 1816 and 1817 preserves the names of some of the pioneer citizens. 
Some of those whose names are given were no doubt speculative pur- 
chasers, who invested in the lands without intention of permanent settle- 
ment. P"or this and other reasons the names on the land patents of these 
years do not include all the settlers of the county up to this date. The 
names are given by congressional townships : 

Township 6, range 8 (principally Jefiferson township) — Robert 
Bedwell, Thomas Trimble, John Purcell, S. Shepard. 

Township 7, range 8 (north part of Jefiferson and portions of 
Haddon and Cass) — John Purdy. 

Township 8, range 8 (Jackson township) — \\'illoughby Pugh 
and William Pugh. 


Township 6, range 9 (the central part of Haddon, and most of 
it south of the Indian Boundary and in the area of the Donations 
and Surveys) — James Wason, John W. Nash, Stephen Milam, Rich- 
ard Maxwell. 

Township 7. range 9 (the northeast corner of Haddon, the south 
half of Hamilton, and a corner of Gill townships) — Thomas Hamil- 
ton, Thomas Pitts, William Purdy, John South, Jesse Haddon, John 
Pinkler, Thomas Creager, James Curry, A. N. McClelland, Eli Xew- 
lin, John Creager, Charles Hill, Henry South, Samuel Ledgerwood, 
Jonathan Batsom, Andrew Wilkins, John Haddon, Moses Milam, 
Samuel ]\IcClure. John Sinclair, Andrew Hamilton, John Robbins, 
Abraham Johnson, Jr., William Hamilton, George Boon, Morgan 
Eaton, H. S. Eaton, Robert Murphy, Titus Willard, Charles Scott. 
Friend Lemon, C. & F. Bullett, Patrick Smith, John Hall, Simeon 
Smith, Matthew McCammon, Brook Howell. 

Township 8, range 9 (north half of Hamilton township, includ- 
ing Sullivan)— Paschal Shelburn, W'illiam Pugh. Samuel Smith, 
Thomas Hamilton, C. Crabtree, Eli Sinclair. 

Township 9, range 9 (Curry township) — Thomas Carrithers, 
James Wier, William S. Watson, John Curry, Shadrack Sherman, 
William Curry, Calvin Curry, Isaac Hill. 

Township 6, range 10 (southwest corner of Haddon and south 
part of Gill) — John Campbell, John Wallace, John Bond, Epenetus 
Webb, Jonathan Graham, Benjamin Sherman, Eli Joseph, Joseph 
Ridgeway, Uriah Joseph, James Duncan. 

Township 7, range 10 (north part of Gill township, including 
Merom and New Lebanon) — John West, Ephraim West, Smith 
Hansbaugh, Edward Neal, James Jones, William Sherman, John 
Scott, Elizabeth Shepard, Joseph Warner, Felter & Hedges, William 
Lester, James Caldwell, John Booth. John B. Daugherty, C. & F. 
Bullett, Anthony and Richard Bumett, John Widener, Evan Rice, 
Levi Springer, David Thompson, Samuel Ray, William Hill, Samuel 
Elliott, Robert McXair, Samuel Smith, Samuel Ledgerwood, Jona- 
than Graham, Robert Polk, William Nudford, William Burnett. 
Andrew Wilkins, William Polk, Richard Maxwell, Thomas and 
John Bennett, John White, Peter Elliott, Abner \'ickery, Jesse Had- 
don, William South, John Hopewell, Aaron Thompson, Abijah and 
Joseph Thomas. Henry French, Rankin Chandler, John C. Riley, 


Jacob Mumay, Thomas Edwards, Silas Dean, John Sproat, Elisha 
Boudmot, Alexander Chamberlain. 

Township 8, range 10 (east half of Turman township) — John 
Flannagan, Jesse Davis, John McKee, Abraham Stagg, William 
Johnson, James B. AlcCall, John Miller, William Woods, Thomas 
N. White, Isaac Brocaw, John Haddon, Abraham McClelland, George 
Kirby, Seth Cushman, David Wilkins, Josiah Bryant, Henry Little, 
Benjamin Turman, Richard Posey, W'illiam Harper, James Harper, 
Arnold Potter. 

Township 9, range 10 (all of Fairbanks township except the 
land along the river) — Phillip Frakes, John Gordon, William Mc- 
Guire, Samuel Chambers, William Bryant, William Kelsoe, Jesse 
Ropel, Thomas Armstrong, Reuben Moore, Shadrack Ernest, 
Thomas Robbins, Ludwick Ernest, James Pogue, Joseph Chambers, 
James D. Piety, James Lee, I. W\ Drennan, Alexander Clark, Gideon 
Long, James Drake, James Patten, Edward H. Ransford, Isaac 
Hand, Joseph Thompson, William Sherman, Benjamin Harris, Rob- 
ert Wier, William Patten, Elijah Payne. 

Township 7, range 11 (fractional along the river) — John W'hite, 
John C. Riley. 

Township 8, range 11 (fractional, being the west side of Tur- 
man township) — John Lester, W. Lawrence, Thomas White, Jr., 
John White, J. C. Haliburt, Arthur Patterson, William WHiite, John 
Seaton, Jonathan Lindley, William Harlow, James B. McCall, Ben- 
jamin Turman, Samuel Chambers, George Rogers, Clark Sullivan, 
Jonah Bryant, Nathaniel Ernest. 

Township 9, range 11 (west fractional sections of Fairbanks) — 
Ambrose Whitlock, Philip Smoyer, William Patten. 

The act for the organization of Sullivan county, quoted at length in 
the following paragraphs, was passed in December, 1816, and contained 
the following essential provisions : The organization was to take place 
in the following January, and the county seat was to be located in the 
latter part of February. The area of the new county was much more 
extensive than that of the present Sullivan county, but was not so large 
as has been frequently stated. The county jurisdiction did not extend 


north as far as the north Hue of the state, but only to the north Une of the 
Xew Purchase, a few miles above Terre Haute. The western boundary 
was the Wabash river and the state line, and the county extended east 
approximately to th;.- White river. The house of James Sproule in the 
recently platted town of Carlisle (see history ofCarlisle) was designated 
as the first court house, to be used until the permanent location of the 
seat of justice and the erection of county buildings. The other and 
detailed provisions of the organic act follow : 

Aji act for the fonnation of a nczi' county out of the county of Knox. 

Section i. Be it enacted by the general assembly of the state 
of Indiana. That from and after the 15th day of January next, all 
that part of the count}" of Knox contained within the following 
boundaries shall constitute and form a separate county, viz. : Begin- 
ning on the Wabash river where the line dividing townships 5 and 6 
crosses the same, thence running east with said line until it strikes 
the West Fork of White river, thence up the said fork to the Orange 
county line, thence with said line to the Indian Boundary line, thence 
with the said boundary line crossing the Wabash river to the line 
dividing the state of Indiana and the Territory of Illinois, thence 
with said line south to the \\'abash river, thence down the said river 
with the meanders thereof to the place of beginning. 

Sec. 2. The said new^ county shall be known and designated by 
the name and style of the county of Sullivan, and shall enjoy all the 
rights, privileges and jurisdictions which to separate counties do or 
mav properly belong or appertain: Proz'idcd ahieays. that all suits, 
pleas, plains, actions and proceedings in law or equit\- which may 
have been commenced or instituted before the said 15th day of 
January next and shall be pending in the county of Knox shall be 
prosecuted and determined in the same manner as if this act 
not been passed : Provided also, that all taxes which may on the saiil 
15th of January next remain due and unpaid within the bounds of 
the said new county of Sullivan shall be collected and paid in the 
same manner and by the sanie officers as if the said new county had 
not been erected. 


Sec. 3. Isaac Montgomery and William Harrington, of Gibson 
county, John B. Drennen and Andrew Purcell, of Knox county, and 
James G. Reed, of Daviess county, be and they are hereby appointed 
commissioners agreeably to an act entitled "An act for fixing the 
seats of justice in all new counties hereafter laid ofif," whose duty it 
shall be on receiving notice of their appointment as hereinafter 
provided to repair to the house of James Sproule in the said new 
county of Sullivan on the 20th day of February next and proceed to 
fix the seat of justice for the said county of Sullivan agreeably to 
the true intent and meaning of the above recited act, and it shall 
be the duty of the Sheriff of the county of Knox to notify the said 
commissioners either in person or by written notification of their 
said appointments at least five days previous to the time appointed 
for the meeting of said commissioners, and the said sheriff shall be 
allowed a reasonable compensation for his services out of the first 
moneys in the treasury of said county of Sullivan, to be allowed 
and paid as other county claims usuall}- arc. 

Sec. 4. The circuit and other courts of the said county of Sulli- 
van shall be holden at the house of James Sproule until the public 
buildings are in such state of forwardness that the circuit court of 
said county shall deem it expedient to adjourn said court to the place 
established for the seat of justice of said county, after which time the 
said courts shall be holden at the seat of justice established a> 

Sec. 5. The said county of Sullivan shall be attached to and 
form a part of the first circuit, and the circuit courts for said countv 
of Sullivan shall commence and be held at the place aforesaid for 
holding said courts on the Mondays next succeeding the week in 
which the circuit courts are directed by law to be held in the county 
of Daviess ; Provided, that the agent to be appointed for said county 
of Sullivan shall reserve in his hands ten per centum out of the 
proceeds of the sale of the town lots at the seat of justice for said 
county, and shall pay the same over to such person as may here- 
after be appointed by law to receive the same, for the use of a library 
for said county; And provided also, that the said county of Sullivan 
shall form a part of the representative and senatorial districts for 
the countv of Knox, until altered bv law. 



This act shall be in force from and after the 15th day of Jan- 
uary next. 

Approved December 30, 18 16. 

Jonathan Jennings. 
Isaac Blackford, 
Speaker of the house of representatives. 
Christopher Harrison, 

President of the senate. 

Carlisle was the county seat for about two years. Perhaps some of 
the court sessions were held, as the law directed, at the house of James 
Sproule, but there is a well circulated tradition that the judge and lawyers 
and litigants often held court in the open air under the shelter of a large 
beech tree that once spread its broad shade in the village. 

Of the official acts of the commissioners and courts during this inter- 
esting period only fragm.entary records remain. One of these is an 
advertisement in the Western Sitii. dated November 20. 1817. signed by 
B. Johnson. Sheriff, announcing that he will expose certain lots in Terre 
Haute for sale for delinquent taxes. "The sale will commence at 10 
o'clock at the court house in the town of Carlisle. Indiana." At that time 
Terre Haute was within the jurisdiction of Sullivan county, the organiza- 
tion of Vigo county being eft'ected the following year. 

A similar announcement of delinquent tax sale, dated January 17, 
1818. refers to the town of Busseron, which, like ^Monroe, with the col- 
lapse of its county seat prospects, had failed to grow. There were 47 lots 
advertised for this sale, the owners' names being unknown. This is evi- 
dence that these towns, like many other towns laid out in a new countrv, 
were founded for speculative purposes, and the lots were largely sold to 

The principal institution of the town of Busseron was the old Ledger- 
wood mill. Though the court house went to Carlisle, this old mill seat 


for many years continued to supply the residents of this vicinity with 
flour, lumber, whiskey and other commodities of pioneer manufacture. 
An advertisement in the Jl'csfcrn Sim dated "December, 1816, Busseron," 
and signed by Morgan Eaton, reads as follows: "The subscriber is happy 
to inform the inhabitants of Knox county and vicinity that his distillery 
is now in complete operation. Orders for whiskey, gin, etc., will be punc- 
tually attended to. He will sell corn whiskey at 75 cents a gallon, rye 
wdiiskey at one dollar per gallon, until change of market." 

There is brief mention of another resident of that time at Busseron 
in the issue of April 21, 181 7. James Dunkin advertises lots for sale in 
the town, among them three lots with buildings, store and tavern. All 
traces of these early business activities have long since disappeared from 
the site. 

A pioneer of Carlisle and vicinity, who is elsewhere mentioned, was 
an advertiser in the Sun in January, 1817, — "Kenewha salt of the first 
quality for sale by John Duly, in Busseron prairie, one mile from Carlisle, 
which will be sold for cash, furs and skins, or for produce such as corn 
and wheat." 

The first general election held in Sullivan county after its organiza- 
tion occurred in August, 1817, at which 155 votes were cast for Posey 
and 126 for Hendricks, they being the rival candidates for the office of 
congressman from this state. 

After careful comparison of the existing records relating to the 
founding and early history of Carlisle and Merom, it is reasonable to 
conclude that Carlisle was never officially selected as the county seat of 
Sullivan county. The organic act designated the house of James Sproule 
as the temporary seat of justice until the permanent location and until 
the new county buildings were ready. For this reason Carlisle held the 
honor of being the county seat for a year or more. But in the account of 


Arerom (elsewhere given) it appears that the eounty agent who man- 
aged the sale of lots for the county seat issued his announcement of this 
sale at Merom in June, 1817, and it is reasonable to suppose that the 
commissioners had previous to that time decided upon the location for 
the court house. However, it is probable that the actual removal of the 
seat of justice to Alerom did not occur until the following year. Tradi- 
tional accounts fix 1819 as the date when court sessions and other county 
business began to be transacted in Aferom. 




The preceding pages have narrated the general course of events up to 
and inckiding the organization of Sulhvan county. Many individuals 
have been mentioned, some more frequently and prominently than others. 
Much must always remain unsaid concerning the pioneer citizens of any 
locality, the data having long since disappeared. The following para- 
graphs represent an effort to place on record, from such material as could 
be obtained, the essential facts relating to a large number of individuals 
and families who may be classed as pioneers. The classification of pio- 
neers in this instance is an arbitrary one. The word is usually an elastic 
term, and is here most applied to those persons who came into the county 
to reside before the year 1840. Some names will not be found in this 
record which would be expected to occur there, for the reason that some 
of these characters seem more properly assignable to the chapters on the 
bench and bar, the medical profession, and other divisions. 

The pioneer member of the Akin family, which has been so promi- 
nent in the county and particularly about Carlisle, was Ransom W. Akin, 
who was a merchant at Carlisle from 1838 until relieved of active duties 

Vol. 1—3 


by his sons. He died June i8, 1880, aged about seventy-four. As to the 
family origin, Virginia was the native state of his parents, who had emi- 
grated to Clark county, Indiana, almost at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. For a few years Colonel Akin was in the banking business at 
Bloomington. He left six sons and three daughters, and had lost three 
children by death. 

The late James L. Allan, who died at Sullivan March 15, 1904, was 
one of the county's venerable citizens, having spent nearly seventy years 
here as a resident. He was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, February 
14, 1818, came to this county with his parents in 1835, was married at the 
age of eighteen to Rachel Louise Eaton (who died in 1897), and spent 
his life as a farmer. He was a member of the Methodist church. 

On July 31, 1876, died at Carlisle the head of one of the most promi- 
nent families of the county. Joshua Alsop had been identified with the 
business and civic interests of the county many years, but had repeatedly 
refused to accept public office, until 1870, wdien he was elected and served 
a term in the state senate. He was born in Northumberlandshire, Eng- 
land, September 5, 1807. His parents and the three other children left 
England May 18, 1818, and after living a year at Walls Corners, New 
York, set out for the west, York, Illinois, being their destination. Most 
of the journey was made in a flatboat. It is not known in just what year 
Joshua Alsop moved to Sullivan county, but he was prominent in the 
construction of the first railroad through the county. A charter was 
granted to the \'incennes and Terre Haute Railroad in 1851, and when 
this line was consolidated with the Vincennes and Evansville he was 
elected a director of the new road, the Evansville and Crawfordsville. 
While a resident of Carlisle he showed a liberal hand in supporting the 


public schools. He subscribed liberally toward the school building that 
was erected in 1857, and when it was completed he offered a loan to 
relieve the schoolhouse of the builder's lien. He married, February 14, 
1837, ]\Iargaret Calvert, who was born in Washington county, Kentucky, 
May 10, 181 1, and died October 10, 1877. They had seven children. 

From Kentucky came the Arnetts, of Gill and Haddon townships. 
The date of the removal of Levin Arnett to this county is not given 
exactly, though his son William was born in Gill township in 1823, and 
the family have always been spoken of among the early settlers of the 

One of the fine old Christian gentlemen of Curry township was Elder 

John Bailey, who died at his home on Palmer's prairie, July 6, 1877. He 

was past eighty, having been born September 15, 1795, in Jefferson 

county, Kentucky. The family moved to Orange county, Indiana, about 

1805. The father was one of those restless pioneers who prepare the 

ground for permanent occupation but are satisfied to leave the fruits of 
their endeavors to others. It was his practice to clear farms, make 

improvements, then sell, and move further back into the wilderness and 
begin the process over again. John Bailey assisted hiiu until he w-as 
twenty years old when he married Elizabeth Henry, and settled in Law- 
rence county on Pleasant run. He was a pioneer, and had to travel thirty 
miles to mill. About 1836 he was converted and immersed by Elder Isaac 
Martin, an event which changed the whole manner of his life. He was 
thereafter one of the strong members of the Christian church, and died in 
that faith. He settled on Curry's prairie in 1845. His first wife died in 
1863, and the following year he married Elizabeth Harris. 


In the issue of the Democrat of January 2, 1878, was announced the 
death of Henry Barnard. As first president of the national bank organ- 
ized at SulHvan in 1872. he had for several years been a citizen of marked 
influence. He was a man of fine culture and attainments, was lavish in 
the expenditure of his large means, and showed his generosity in support 
of every benevolent enterprise. Failing health had caused his resignation 
from the bank several years before his death, and he spent the remaining 
years in Bucksport, ]\laine. 

Ferdinand Easier was a citizen whose life and services are still well 
remembered in the county. A native of Switzerland, he came to this 
county in November, 1848, was engaged in business in town and also at 
farming; in 1855 was elected justice of the peace of Hamilton township, 
served as county auditor from March, 1864, to March, 1868. In 1872 he 
became a member of the state board of agriculture, and the following year 
was appointed by that board a delegate to the Vienna exposition of 1873. 
He assisted in laying out Center Ridge cemetery and was president of the 
board of directors at the time of his death, and was president of the county 
agricultural society two years. 

\\'illiam E. Beard served as a commissioner of the county six years. 
He lived in Sullivan countv from 1826 until his death in Turman town- 
ship. May 14. 1865. He was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, in 1804. 
and was a member of the Christian church. 

Among the pioneers of southern origin may be mentioned the Bed- 
wells, Elisha and Susan (Hinkle), who came from Kentucky and North 
Carolina respectively, the Collinses, Willias S. and Mary (Hoke), who 
brought their family from Kentucky to Haddon township in 1837; the 



Corbins, Vincent Corbin having come from his native state of \^irginia 
first to Kentucky, and in 1829 to Sulhvan county ; the Davidsons, of whom 
Daniel was the pioneer who moved to this county not long after the war 
of 1812-15, one of whose sons was Thomas E.. born in ITarldon township 
in 1819 (died February 5, 1895'), 'I'l^l '"'ig known as a i)rosperous farmer. 
The Nash family was transplanted from Kentucky to this countv bv 
]\Iarvel W. Xash sometime about the '20s. Another Kentucky family, 
related by marriage to the X^ashes, was the Shakes, the pioneer David 
Shake having moved from Oldham county, Kentucky, to Haddon town- 
ship in 1830. Other Kentuckians who belonged to this group of pioneer 
settlers in Haddon township were Benjamin Ridgway and John Snvder, 
who. with their descendants, have been well known people in the vicinity 
of Paxton for the past eighty years. Sometime before 1823 Joseph Trim- 
ble brought his family from Kentucky to Haddon township. Luke and 
Samuel W'alters each brought families from Kentucky to this countv, 
during the early thirties, and the name has been familiar in Haddon 
township for many years. 

One of the last survivors of the war with Mexico was Willis Bene- 
field. who died at his home in Sullivan. March 2;i^, 1902. He was a mem- 
ber of Captain Briggs' company in the war, being then a young man of 
about twenty-four years. The family have been identified with this 
county since 1836. when the mother moved here from Illinois. Willis 
was born in Lawrence county. Indiana, in 1822. and in 1850 married 
Elizabeth ^1 ax well, by whom there were three children. 

During the pioneer days of this county, it was very rare that a set- 
tler of foreign birth came to the county. One such was Adam F. Ben- 
singer, who was born in Germany in 1787, who came to Sullivan county 


about 1830, and was the founder of family of honored activities and 

Jesse Bicknell, who died in December, 1882, was clerk of the county 
two terms, and had also served as deputy in the office when ]\Iajor Griffith 
was clerk. 'Sir. Bicknell was born in Kentucky the latter part of 1829, at 
an early age was thrown on his own responsibilities, and about 1855 began 
working in the store of John Giles at New Lebanon. 

. \\'illiani Blackburn was lieutenant colonel of the Seventh Illinois 
Cavalry, having entered the service as captain, August 10, 1861. He was 
Avounded in ^Mississippi, May 5, 1863, and died twelve days later. He 
was a member of the Presbyterian chvirch at Carlisle, and also Carlisle 
Lodge No. 50, I. O. O. F. 

A unique distinction belonged to William Bledsoe, who died at his 
home in Dugger, November 14, 1905. in his eightieth year. It was as- 
serted that he was without doubt the most famous hunter the countv ever 
produced. He had lived in the eastern part of the county since he was 
grown, and throughout his active life was an ardent and successful Nim- 
rod. The claim is made that he killed the last wild deer which was ever 
seen in the county. He had a record of killing sixteen deer in three 
consecutive mornings. Lie was born in Lawrence county, Indiana. Oc- 
tober 29, 1826. 

William Alfred Brunker, who died April 8, 1902, had been identified 
wnth the town of Farmersburg for nearly half a century. In 1858 he had 
established a general store and grain market at that place, during the 
sixties was engaged largely in fanning, and then began the manufacture of 
a healing compound known as "Brunker's Balsam," the patent for which 


in 1880 he disposed of to an eastern firm. He had served as postmaster at 
Farmersburg during the administrations of Buchanan and Lincohi, and 
was a justice of the peace three terms. He was a native of England, 
born in 1825, had to contend with poverty and had few educational oppor- 
tunities, and for a immbcr of years was employed in hospitals and asylums 
at Bristol, where he met his wife, Phoebe Say. He came to America in 
1 85 1, and began work at a dollar a day, but rapidly rose in prosperity. 

Jacob Booker at his death, January 22, 1882, was one of the oldest 
residents of the county. He was born in Jefferson county, Kentuckv, in 
1798. and had located in Indiana when about twenty-one years old. He 
lived many years in the northeast part of Haddon township. 

In his reminiscences of the early Indiana courts and bar, Oliver H. 
Smith relates the ridiculous experience of State Senator George Boon(e), 
in courting a young lady in his neighborhood. \Miether this incident 
happened in Sullivan county is not related, but it was probably founded, in 
fact or romance, in Kentucky, where Boon's family home belonged. He 
claimed relationship with the great Daniel Boone. George Boon was 
called in later years the Abraham Lincoln of Sullivan county. He was 
nearly seven feet tall, of massive proportions. His large feet came in for 
the greater part of the ridicule and jokes at his expense. Despite his un- 
gainly body he was a very popular man, and was repeatedly elected to the 
legislature. During his service in the assembly the question of internal 
improvements was the most discussed and more nearly concerned the 
people than any other aft'air. Boon was opposed to the state undertaking 
internal improvements on the scale then demanded, and his failure to ask, 
or obtain, anything for his county in this direction was the cause of his 
defeat by Colonel Haddon for one term, when he was again successful, 


and he continued in the legislature until his death, at the age of about 
5". He wanted to go to Congress, and at one time was in opposition to 
John W. Davis and John Ewing, the latter gaining the coveted honor. 

Tavner Bowcn, who died December i, 1890, and was buried in the 
Indian Prairie cemetery, had lived in this vicinity many years, and was 
the first president of the F. M. B. A. Lodge 2903. He was born in Jessa- 
mine county, Kentucky, January i, 1818, and at the age of eighteen moved 
to Indiana with his parents, settling in Knox county. In 1838 he married 
Anna Robbins, and came to Sullivan county, where he passed the re- 
mainder of his life. He was the father of ten children. In 1844 he 
united with the Indian Prairie Baptist church under Rev. Stephen Ken- 
nedy. In February, 1864, he enlisted in Captain Gillman's company (C) 
of the 1 20th Regiment and served till the close of the war. He also 
served as a justice of the peace in his township. 

It was said of James Brewer, who died near Fairbanks, October, 
1889, aged si.xty-eight, that he was a prominent man not because of offices 
held, but for his virtues. The Masons conducted his funeral, and I. H. 
Meteer came from Crawfordsville to preach the sermon. He was a mem- 
ber of the Brewer family which has so numerously and actively been iden- 
tified with the county, was born in Butler county, Ohio, and came to this 
county when he was two or three years old. 

William Brewer died at his home in Turman township, October 24, 
1899, one of the oldest native citizens of this part of the county, having, 
been born near Graysville, March 26, 1826. He was a farmer most of 
his life, but was also a member of the firm of Brewer and Burton of Snl- 


livan. His first wife was Mary Ann Hawkins, wiio died in 1867, and in 
1868 he married Amelia Miles of New Lebanon, who died in 1893. In 
1895 he married Rebecca Thornberry of Graysville. 

The Brewer family, one of whose representatives is Orlando C. 
Brewer of Fairbanks township, was founded in Sullivan county before 
1820, by John and Mary (Cook) Brewer. John Brewer once cultivated a 
farm on land that is now included within the city of Terre Haute, and 
from there moved to Graysville, where most of his life was spent, being 
a merchant there, and a member of the Methodist church. lie died Mav 
20, 1880, in his eighty-fourth year. 

At New Lebanon, during the forties, quite an industr}- was carried on 
in the building of flat-boats for the Wabash river traffic. One of the 
pioneers who engaged in this business at that place was Richard Anderson 
Bland. He was a cabinet maker at Carlisle and New Lebanon, and also 
had a sawmill. He spent his last years at Sullivan, where he died August 
3, 1904, in his ninetieth year. He was a venerable citizen and early resi- 
dent of the Methodist community at New Lebanon, and it was his dis- 
tinction to have been a member of the church over sixty-five years, and 
to have assisted in the building of the old Methodist church at New Le- 
banon as also the present church edifice there and likewise the ^l. E. 
church at Sullivan. He was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, January 
6, 1815, when a boy moved with the family to New Albany, and in 1834 
the family home was established at New Lebanon, where, in January, 
1835, he married Eusebia Mason. William H. and Thomas F. Bland 
were among the nine children of this union. After the death of his first 
wife in 1876 Mr. Bland married Amelia x\nn Allen, who died in 1891. 


The Burnett famil\' which belongs to the early pioneer epoch of 
Sullivan county was especially identified with Gill prairie and Xew Le- 
banon. The date assigned for the settlement of the family on this prairie 
was 1813. Joseph Burnett, the son of the original settler, died in the 
county February 10. 1876. He was born in Kentucky, September 13, 
1809. He was a Democrat and Methodist, and a wholesome citizen of his 

John R. Burnett, another member of the family, died at Xew Le- 
banon. January 21, 1892, aged eighty-eight years. At one time he owned 
all the land on which X'ew Lebanon is built_, but lost most of his property 
by going securit\-. 

Stephen G. Burton, who died October, 1875. at one time represented 
Sullivan county in the legislature. 

On September 25, 1890. passed away one of the oldest men of Sulli- 
van county. Christian Canary was probably the last survivor of the war 
of 181 2 in Sullivan county. Born near Danville, fiercer county, Ken- 
tucky, ]\Iay 7. 1792, he married Xancy South, on June 8. 1812, and soon 
afterward enlisted for service in the war with Great Britain, under Captain 
Lankister and General Carter. In October, 1816, with his father-in-law, 
Henry South, he moved to what was then the northern part of Knox 
county, but which in the following winter was made Sullivan county. 
The name is especially identified with the Gill township neighborhood, 
where a son of Christian Canary still lives, himself now an old man. One 
of the celebrations of age and family which had more than picturesque 
interest was the gathering of relatives, descendants and friends on the 
4th of May, 1882, in honor of the ninetieth birthday of this patriot and 
pioneer. There was dinner, music by the Sullivan Opera House band. 


stories of the old time, and the festivity and i)athos that mark such an 
occasion. Christian Canary joined the ALethochst church when eighteen, 
was one of that Alethodist community that made New Lehanon a center 
of church and echicational affairs fifty years ago, and to the end of his hfe 
remained a member of the church. 

The name of WilHam Curry has been perpetuated in Currv township, 
which was named in his lienor, as the first settler. He came there about 
1817 from Kentucky, and was followed by Sanuiel and Robert Currv. 
Not only these pioneers, but many of their children have passed away, and 
only representatives of the third and fourth generation are now resident 
in the county. Thomas Franklin Curry was probably the first of the 
family to claim this county as his birthplace. He was born in Curry 
township October 4, 1818, and died January i, 1878. leaving ten children. 
He was a member of the Presbyterian church 44 years. 

Another branch of the Curry family was represented by John F. 
Curry, who died at Sullivan, October 30, 1889. He was born near Terre 
Haute, in 1824, a son of James Curry, who was a pioneer in the vicinity of 
Vincennes. John F. Curry lived for many years at Carlisle, having 
learned the tailor business under Peter Hawk there. He was elected 
sheriff of the county in 1872, and after his term continued in business at 
Sullivan till his death. He was a Presbyterian and a member of the Odd 
Fellows order. 

On May 16, 1906, occurred the death of William Curry, one of the 
oldest citizens of the county, and almost a native son, having come to this 
county with Samuel Curry, his father, in 1822, when two years old, and 
for eighty-four years had been a resident of Curry township. In 1846 he 


married Rebecca Russell. Joseph Wolfe Curry and Spencer- Russell 
Curr\- are two of their four children. 

The Calvert family settled at Carlisle shortly after the close of the 
war of 1812. They were Kentuckians, and John Calvert, who died Oc- 
tober 26, 1883, was born in Springfield, Kentucky, September 16, 1807, 
and had lived in the county since he was nine years old. He married, 
February 26, 1830, Delilah Pitts, and had eleven children. The family 
were Methodists. 

Thomas Martin Campbell, who died at his farm north of Sullivan, 
February 26, 1884, was born in Knox county. Ohio. March 17, 1820. He 
represented an old Presbyterian family, and had himself been a member 
of the church since he was twenty-one, and was an elder in the church at 
Sullivan at the time of his death. 

George Carrithers, who died at Graysville. January 23, 1882, was a 
man of note not only because of his sixty-five years' residence in this 
vicinity, but for the character and strength that are naturally associated 
with the pioneer. "I do not remember," said Rev. J. H. Meteer, "to 
have met another man who had so supreme a contempt for idleness, and 
whole life so nearly conformed to his theory. . . .Those who were favored 
with his intimate acquaintance always gained by his counsel, whether in 
matters of business or religion." He was born in Kentucky, in May, 
1800, came with the family to this state in 18 17, at which time he and his 
brother went into the woods and cut and split 500 rails, w^ith which they 
fenced ten acres of ground from which the family raised its first crops. 
At the age of 28 he married Jane Weir, and his death broke their wedlock 
of fiftv-four vears. Four children were left. He had united with the 


Scaffold Prairie I'resbyterian church in 1835, and the same year was 
chosen an elder of Hopewell church of Graysville. 

Bennett Caffee, whose death occurred at Frankfort. Indiana, March 
25, 1896, was at one time identified with the newspaper business of Sulli- 
van, having come to Sullivan in 1868 as publisher of the Dcuiocrat. In 
1862 he married Belinda Briggs, a daughter of Benjamin Briggs. He 
was sixty-five years old at the time of his death. 

Joseph Click was born in Kentucky, March 10, 1817, and died Feb- 
ruary 27, 1894, having been a resident of Sullivan county since 1865. He 
became a member of Mt. Tabor Methodist church. He married Cvnthia 
Hays, January, 1851, and had nine children. 

Joseph Cunningham, who died suddenly August i, 1893, had been 
for several years the efficient superintendent of the Sullivan County Agri- 
cultural Society, and shortly before his death had, with \V. H. Crowder, 
erected the new mill at Sullivan. He had been held in high esteem by his 
fellow citizens, having been first nominated for public office in 1878, when 
he appeared on the National ticket for the office of sheriff. Though he 
failed of election that time^ after running ahead of the rest of the ticket, 
he was nominated for the same office in 1880 and polled double the number 
of votes given to any other name on the ticket, though not enough to give 
him the office. 

William E. Catlin will be remembered as one of the early merchants 
on the north side of the square at Sullivan. He established his store in 
1850, and for many years carried a general stock of merchandise, dry- 
goods, groceries, and liquors. He was born in Washington county. Ken- 


tucky, February 21, 1818, and died at his home in Sullivan May 31, 1906, 
leaving a son, William Francis. The family had come to Sullivan county 
during the early twenties, living a short distance north of Carlisle. Wil- 
liam E. Catlin during his youth taught four years of school in the school- 
house that stood on his father's farm. When he first voted for a president, 
his ballot was cast for Martin \'an Buren. He married, in 1838, Eliza- 
beth H. Ridge. 

The name Creager that is owned by numerous persons in this county 
was among the early names at the old town of Merom. C3ne of the oldest 
of the family was William Creager, who died at Merom. March 30, 1868, 
and one of the last of the town's pioneers. He was a native of Kentucky, 
and for many years had been a justice of the peace at this locality. 

June 12, 1878. \\'illiam Combs, a county commissioner, then serving 
his second term, died in Cass township, where he had long been a resident. 
He was about sixty years old, was a successful farmer, was known for his 
strong practical sense and uprightness of dealings. 

In the old Carlisle cemetery, in a small lot surrounded with an iron 
fence, stands a plain marble obelisk with a base on which are stated only 
these simple facts : "Hon. John W. Davis, born in New Holland, Lancas- 
ter county. Pa., April 16, 1799, died at Carlisle, Ind., August 22, 1859," 
together with the name of his wife, x'Xnn Hoover Davis, who died De- 
cember 28, 1859. To one who was unfamiliar with the early history of 
Sullivan county and of Indiana the monument tells only the mortal facts 
about a man who. in reality, for thirty years was prominent among the 
men who shaped the history of Indiana. He served in the legislature of 
the state six terms, and was three times speaker of the house ; was sent 


to Congress four times, and was the first of three Indiana men who served 
as speaker of the national house of representatives ; was commissioner 
to China, governor of Oregon territory, and a judge of the probate court, 
besides many other connections with ])ubhc and private hfe. In his 
reminiscences, Ohver H. Smith said of him, "few men in this or any 
other state have held so many prominent positions or discharged their 
duties with greater ability." 

Of his family, none now live in Sullivan county, though a son is a 
resident of Greene county. An earlier generation would remember iiim 
as much for his services as a physician as in public life. He graduated 
from the University of Maryland as a physician in 1821, and two years 
later arrived at Carlisle with three cents in his pocket and a wife to sup- 
port. For five years he practiced as a country doctor, part of the time 
being at Terre Haute. He entered politics in 1828, but was defeated for 
the state senate by William C. Linton. He became probate judge, and 
later was a successful candidate for the legislature. He tried for election 
as congressman in 1833, but John Ewing defeated him by two votes. 
Two years later he was successful against the same rival by a thousand 
votes. Persistency was the strongest element of his character, and 
through its exercise he accomplished many things that a less determined 
nature would not have attained. In 1841 his opponent was the noted Col. 
Dick Thompson of Terre Haute, who was elected. Immediately after 
his defeat. Dr. Davis successfully sought election to the state legislature, 
and was elected speaker of the house. Two subsequent terms he was 
sent to Congress, and during the twenty-ninth session was speaker of 
the house. 

In 1847 President Polk appointed him commissioner to China, and 
on his return two years later he again went to the legislature and was 
chosen speaker. In 1852 Mr. Davis was chairman of the Democratic 


national convention which met at P>aUimore in June, 1852. Cass and 
lUichanan were the principal candidates for nomination, but the delegates 
were so divided that after thirty-five l)allotings had been tried no candidate 
had sufificient sup])ort to make liim the nominee. The convention ad- 
journed at noon with the understanding that Virginia should bring in a 
compromise candidate. Franklin Pierce was the "dark horse" brought 
forward, but when the balloting was completed it was found that Pierce 
led Davis of Indiana by only one vote, though on the forty-ninth ballot 
the nomination was made practically unanimous for Pierce. President 
Pierce later appointed Dr. Davis governor of Oregon, and after this he 
was elected to the legislature of the state, "by the most flattering vote," 
he said. "I ever received from the good people of Sullivan county." His 
last public appointment was by the secretary of war as a member of the 
board of visitors to the West Point Military Academy, and he served as 
president of the board. 

According to an estimate of his life published some time ago. Dr. 
Davis was a plain, substantial man, not of extraordinary mental calibre, 
but of good sound judgment, and unusually qualified as a presiding 
officer. "As a safe and prudent legislator," said W. W. Woolen of In- 
dianapolis, "he was the equal of any man in the state in his day. More- 
over, no one ever doubted his honesty. He kept his hands clean. With 
opportunities for money-making possessed by few, he contented himself 
with his legitimate earnings, and died a poor man." He was a Democrat 
in politics. While making a political address on one occasion, some one 
in the audience annoyed and interrupted by asking him regarding his 
advocacy of this and that Democratic measure. At length he said : "My 
friend, to save you trouble and me annoyance, I will say now that I en- 
dorse everything the Democratic party ever has done, and everything 


that it ever will do." He was a large man, over six feet tall, with light 
hair, blue eyes and a florid complexion. 

In the Palmer's prairie graveyard in Cass township is a slab marking 
the grave of Hon. James DePauw, who once represented this county in 
the legislature, and whose son, Washington C. DePauw, has perpetuated 
the name by his liberal gifts to the university which is now DePauw 
University. Harvey Wilson was authority for the statement that James 
DePauw made his canvass for the legislature in advocacy of a new tax 
law, was elected on that platform, and succeeded in having the law- 
changed to conform to his theory. Previous to 1835 the public revenues 
were obtained from what were known as "specific taxes," i. e., so much 
tax was levied on every horse, so much for each yoke of oxen, so much 
for an acre of land, etc., and no distinctions were made between the objects 
of each classification on the basis of value. Mr. DePauw was the first 
man in this locality to advocate taxation on an ad ivIorcDi basis. The 
date usually assigned for the settlement of James DePauw in this county 
is 1832. He located at Caledonia, in the vicinity of the water-power mill 
on Busseron creek, and did a large business in flat-boating from that 
point, being one of the early pork dealers who shipped pork from this 
locality down the rivers to the southern market. 

A daughter of James DePauw married John Y. Dodd, who was born 
in Kentucky in 1802 and died in this county, January 10, 1892, lacking 
about two months of attaining the venerable age of ninety years. After 
his marriage he began farming near Caledonia, where his father-in-law 
then conducted a general store and pork-packery, and was probably pro- 
prietor of the mill. Mr. Dodd was a man of considerable strength of 
character, warm in his attachments, and extremely firm in his convictions. 

Vol. 1—4 


The older citizens of Gill township recall varied memories of William 
F. Dodds, who was postmaster at New Lebanon for thirty years, was a 
squire for a quarter of a century, and very well and favorably known in 
that community. He was born in Kentucky in 1809 and came to Bloom- 
ington, Indiana, when ten years old, and in 1830 located at New Lebanon, 
where he lived until his death in August, 1873. He was a member of the 
M. E. church thirty-seven years, and was buried w'ith the ceremonies of 
the Odd Fellows order, having been a member of the Carlisle lodge twenty 

One of the well known merchants of Sullivan was John Davis, whose 
death in 1891 removed one of the old citizens of the county. He was 
born near Vincennes, September 30, 181 1, and had lived in Sullivan county 
since March, 1819. 

John Dudley, who served as sheriff for two terms in the seventies, 
died in August, 1899, being at the time one of the oldest native sons, 
having been born in the county in 1824. His first wife was Anna 
Springer, of New Lebanon, and the second, ]\Iary Jane Benefield, of 

A family name that has been associated with Haddon township and 
Carlisle during early years was that of Dooley or Duly, as it was also 
spelled. There is a stone in the Carlisle cemetery, much defaced by age 
and weather, placed there "In memory of John Duly, who was bom 
, and died February 18, 1837, aged (63?) years." 

A more familiar personage, and one whose name appears on some 
of the early official documents to be found in the county, was Henry 
Dooley, presumably a son or relative of the above. He served as orderly 


sergeant in Captain Briggs' company of volunteers for the Mexican war, 
and after his return was for six years sheriff of the county, and then a 
justice of the peace. 

The Eaton family was established near Carlisle about 1813, perhaps 
a little later. William Eaton, who died near New Lebanon in July, 1873, 
was at that time about eighty years of age, a native of Fleming county, 
Kentucky. He served, so it was said, in the war of 18 12, and probably 
located in this county during and soon after the close of that war. He 
married Mary Hunt in June, 181 5, and in 1825 moved to New Lebanon. 
He had become a member of the M. E. church in 1817, and held the 
office of trustee and class leader at the time of his death. 

Probably a brother of William Eaton was the old justice of the peace 
at Carlisle, John H. Eaton, who lies buried in the cemetery there. Ac- 
cording to the inscription on his tombstone, he was born November 25, 
1794, and died March, 1842. During the thirties he was a justice of the 
peace in Haddon township, and must have been a man of some promi- 
nence. He had the habit of writing the initial of his middle name so 
close to the E of the final name that it seemed one word, and to a stranger 
his name would seem to be John Heaton. It was so mistaken in several 
instances where his name occurred in print. It seems that the chiseler 
who cut his name on the tombstone was instructed to carry out this pecul- 
iarity, for at first glance the name on the stone seems to be Heaton. 

The Ellis family, which is represented in the third generation by 
Claude A. Ellis of Carlisle, was of Virginia origin, the grandparents John 
W. and Sarah E. Ellis both being natives of that state and coming to this 
county some time in the "20s or early '30s. Thomas O. Ellis, a native 
son of the county and representing the second generation of the family 


here, is a man of unusual liistorical interest because of his connection, 
while a young man during the fifties, with the Nicaraugua filibuster under 
Captain Walker, which was one of the romantic episodes of American 

William Ernest, who died at his home in Fairbanks, August 29, 
1882, had lived in this state since 1827, and joined the Baptist church in 
Fairbanks in 1834. He was born in North Carolina in 1804, and came 
to this state with his parents. 

Alexander Engle, who died December 16, 1904, was for many years a 
local preacher of the Christian church, having vmited with that denomina- 
tion in 1861. He was born in Sullivan coiunty, October 20, 1826, and in 
1849 married Patsy Rose. 

Alonzo F. Estabrook was for many years surveyor of the county. 
He was born in Reading, Windsor county, Vermont, March 7, 1814, and 
came west during the construction of Wabash and Erie Canal, being one 
of the surveyors connected with that enterprise. He studied medicine 
and practiced for a year but later resumed surveying, and for a long time 
resided at Carlisle. He died at the home of a son near Gordon, Nebraska, 
April 3, 1892. At the time of his death his son J. Alonzo was living near 

Dr. William A. Fleming, practiced a quarter of a century at 
Pleasantville before his death, which occurred July 10, 1892. Dropsy 
was the cause of his death. He was born in Jeft'erson county, Ohio, in 
1841, read medicine there until this was interrupted by service in the army, 
being connected with the hospital service part of the time, and after the 


war continued his studies in the medical department of the University of 
Michigan, coming to Pleasantvihe in the summer of 1866. For fourteen 
years he was the partner of Dr. James McDowell, later with Dr. McClung, 
and then with Dr. L. C. McDowell. 

One of the veterans of the Mexican war, who was also in the Civil 
war, was Col. James H. Garrett, who lived at Carlisle a numher of vears, 
but who died at Newton, Iowa, January 30, 1877, being fifty-two years of 
age at the time of his death. 

The Giles family was located in the vicinity of A/ferom about 1830. 
At least one member of the family, John Giles, was engaged in the flat- 
boat commerce to New Orleans, and was later a merchant and county 
treasurer, and president of the Farmers State Bank of Sullivan. Hugh 
H. Giles, a native of New Jersey, was the original immigrant to this 
county, coming here in 1830. Hopkins Giles died in Gill township August 
3, 1867, aged 71. John Giles died in November, 1894. 

Robert A. Gilkison and wife, natives of Kentucky, came to Sullivan 
county in 1816, not long after the close of the war of 1812. For a number 
of years their home was on the prairie near Carlisle, but they spent their 
last years on the Gilkison farm a mile and a half west of Sullivan. 

John Gilkison (or Gilkerson), who was born in Fleming county, 
Kentucky, in 1815, and died at his home in Sullivan, July 25, 1899, was a 
year old when brought to this county. For many years he lived on a fine 
farm along the Merom road a short distance from Sullivan. He married, 
in 1839, Mary A. Canary, who died in 1879, and in 1882 he married Mrs. 
Sarah Ann Freeman. 


A well known and honored citizen passed away on February 6, 1893, 
in the death of William H. Griffin. He was seventy-seven years old, and 
many years before had located at Fairbanks, where he was a saddle manu- 
facturer. He entered local politics, was one of the county commissioners 
during- the war, having been elected from the second district in 1862, and 
in 1866 was county treasurer and re-elected to that office in 1868. He 
was a Mason and Odd Fellow. 

^Messages of condolence from Senator D. W. Voorhees and Col. W. 
E. McLean of Terre Haute read at the funeral of Major William C. 
Griffith, who died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Zerilda Reed, in 
Sullivan, February 5, 1892, showed the high estimate placed upon that 
worthy soldier and citizen who for more than half a century had been a 
resident of Sullivan. He was ninety-four years old at the time of his 
death. His father was one of seven brothers who came to Pennsylvania 
from Wales and all served in the Revolutionary war, and about 1816 
moved to Kentucky. In 1817 William C. Griffith married Fannie Mc- 
Grew, and fifty years later they celebrated their golden anniversary, their 
wedded life continuing three years longer. During the latter part of the 
war of 1812 he recruited a company of volunteers and was chosen major 
of the regiment to which it was attached. He was one of the last, if not 
the last, survivor of that war in Sullivan county. He had been a member 
of the Baptist church since 1823. He was clerk of the Sullivan circuit 
court four years. 

Some of the older residents will recall the old Irishman, Robert 
Griffith, who was the town tailor of Merom for about thirty years, until 
his death at that place, December 12, 1875. He was at one time an official 
of the county, and at a very interesting period, when the county seat was 
removed from the bluffs of the Wabash to a more central location at 


Sullivan. Some time before he had been appointed by the county com- 
missioners to the office of treasurer and collector, and was later elected 
to that office, and held that office when the county seat moved to Sulli- 
van. He was a native of Belfast, Ireland, learned the tailor's trade, and 
had worked at Natchez, Mississippi, before coming to Sullivan county. 

One of the old teachers of the county who will be readily recalled 
by many, especially in Jackson township, where he lived many years, was 
Peter Grant. He was a graduate of the L^niversity 6f Edinburgh, Scot- 
land, and after coming to this county about 1855 was engaged in teaching 
for about twenty years. He died May 16, 1884, aged seventy-six. He 
was one of the original members of Claiborne Presbyterian church. 

The carpenter and contractor who remodeled the court house was 
William Greenlee, a citizen who was well known in Sullivan up to the 
time of his death, August 11, 1896. He had lived in Sullivan since 185 1. 
He is also credited with having built one of the schoolhouses of Sullivan. 
He was born in Fayette county, Pennsylvania, April 5, 182 1. 

For seventeen years the postoffice at Carlisle was held by David 
Hackney, who died there about May i, 1878, at the age of seventy. As 
a citizen he had for many years been a leader in promoting temperance 
and other moral reforms in his community. 

A native of old Shakertown who passed most of his life in this 
county in the vicinity of Carlisle was Isacher Hancock, who was born 
February 7, 1808, and died September 19, 1877. 

Owen C. Hancock, who was sheriff of the county during the seven- 
ties, had just completed one term in that office and was on the ticket for 


a second term when he died, September 6, 1876. He was born in Owen 
county in 1830. He had six children. 

Joel Harris, who was born January 17, 18 18, was said to have been 
the first white child born in Fairbanks township. He died July 11, 1890. 
He was an enterprising farmer, and had the distinction of raising the 
first large acreage of wheat in his township. His first wife was Lydia 
Ransford, by whom he had five children. 

James Heap, one of the most honored citizens of Curry township, 
died August 4, 1892, and was buried at Friendship church. His wife 
was Sarah J. Davis, and they had seven children. 

John Hammond, who died August 10, 1899, was born in Kentucky 
October, 1816, and at the age of sixteen began working on the Ohio river 
as steamboat engineer, an occupation he followed until 1854, when he 
moved to Sullivan county. For several years he was an engineer in the 
Seth Cushman grist mill at Merom. After the beginning of the war he 
enlisted in Company I, Sixth Indiana Cavalry, and was made veterinary 
of the company. During his residence in the county after the war he 
was employed as engineer in some of the flour mills at Sullivan. In 1842 
he married Nancy Pinkston, by whom he had eight children, and in 1858 
married Louisa J. Kelly. 

The late William Hosea Hawkins, who died in October, 1905, served 
as 'sheriff of the county from 1888 to 1892, and then under the Cleveland 
administration was appointed a United States marshal, a position he held 
during the trying months of the strike of the American Railway Union. 
When an injunction was issued against interfering with the trains at 


Hammond, he was ordered to serve the order of the court. The Monon 
placed a special train at his disposal. The news of the coming of Haw- 
kins and his deputies preceded and created the rumor that a train-load of 
soldiers was approaching the town. A crowd of five thousand gathered 
at the depot, in an ugly mood, but on the arrival of the train Hawkins 
quietly left his car, read the order of the court in the presence of the 
strikers and their sympathizers, and two days later brought the strike 
leaders back to Indianapolis. Marshal Hawkins was the only son of 
Jesse Hawkins, a well-to-do farmer of near Graysville, and during his 
youth had been a clerk in a general store at Shelburn. During his later 
years he became prominent in the Democratic politics of the state. He 
resigned the position of secretary of the county central committee to 
accept a similar position with the state central committee, which he held 
four years. In business he was district superintendent of the Prudential 
Insurance Company, with headquarters at Terre Haute, until about a 
year before his death, when he became superintendent of the American 
Association, with headquarters at Indianapolis. 

Philip Hinkle settled in the southeast corner of Sullivan county in 
1819, coming from Kentucky. He lived there at a time when it was nec- 
essary to take corn to Shakertown to have it ground. The Hinkle family, 
of which Philip was the first immigrant to this county, have been well 
known and numerously represented since that time. 

Nathan Hinkle was a Revolutionary soldier who spent his last years 
in Sullivan county. Some of the gray-headed men of the present century, 
who were boys sixty years ago, remember an old resident of Jackson 
township, who had been voting ever since the beginning of our national 
government, and who until his extreme age took a keen interest in elec- 


tions and was assisted to the ballot box. When he died near Hymera in 
December, 1848, he lacked only half a year of having completed a century 
of life. He was born in Pennsylvania, and early in 1776 enlisted in the 
colonial militia at Lancaster, and for three years served in the continental 
armv. In 1832', while living in Lawrence county, Indiana, he applied for 
and received a pension for his army services. He lived in Kentucky 
before coming to this state, and in 1844 moved to Jackson township, this 
covmty, where he made his home for a time with Uncle ^vlartin Hale. 

Jackson Hinkle, who died a few years ago. nearly ninety years old. 
was a member of the Hinkle family first mentioned above. He was born 
in Kentucky and came to this county with his parents when five years 
old, in 1819. He lived at first near Pleasantville and later moved to 
Farmersburg in order to educate his children. He was a merchant there, 
and was also appointed postmaster during the administration of President 
Grant. He also practiced as a pension attorney at Washington. He 
married, in 1856, Eliza J. Alkire, who died in 1892, the mother of nine 

Stephen Hiatt died at Sullivan, November 27. 1907. He was a 
native of the county, and in i860 married Miss America Laycock of 
Carlisle. Five of their children survived his death. He entered the 
army in August, 1862, in Company F, Ninety-first Illinois Infantry, and 
was wounded at Sabine Crossroads with eleven balls. He was captured 
by Morgan at Elizabeth, Kentucky, and after being released from the 
hospital he was detailed to the body-guard of President Lincoln. He was 
discharged in May, 1865, at Madison, Indiana. 

John Higbee, who represented this county in the legislature by elec- 
tions in 1892 and 1894, died at his home north of Sullivan, January 9, 


1902. He was a son of John L. Higbee, of Sullivan, and was born in 
Hamilton county, Ohio, in 1843. He married Miss Mary Turman of 
Turman township, daughter of Thomas Turman, February 20, 1864, 
and they were parents of eight children. 

Thomas Allen Hughes, who died in 1903, was born December 13, 
1820, in a house that stood just southwest of the site of Sullivan, and 
which is now included in the town limits. He served as deputy auditor 
after the removal of the county seat from Merom, probably the first to 
hold that position. He was a member of the Home Guards during the 
war, being one of the influential Union men of this section, and in the 
latter part of the war enlisted in the 149th Regiment. He took part in 
some of the last marches of the army in the south, and the exposure 
and hardship permanently impaired his health. He was one of the ear- 
liest members of the Alethodist church at Sullivan, having joined the 
church at the age of sixteen, and he helped build the first church, a 
frame building that stood on the site of the present church. 

One of the old residents in the New Lebanon vicinity, a member of 
the Methodist church there and an ardent Democrat ever since he had 
cast his first vote for Jackson, was John R. Hunt, who died at his home 
there August 15, 1877. He was a son of Meshack Hunt and a native of 
Kentucky, born in 1802, and had lived in the county about fifty years. 
He married Hannah Davidson and had nine children. 

David Hutchinson, who died at Sullivan, January 31. 1892, was one 
of the original members of the Presbyterian church of this place, and had 
served as elder. Tie had come to the county in the early fifties, and later 
moved to Sullivan to take charge of the mill built by AI. E. Chase. 


Venerable Squire Joel Hendricks, who died at his home in Farmers- 
burg, where he had long resided, in January, 1892, was one of the well- 
known characters of that vicinity. He had been a justice many years, 
and was said to have possessed the confidence and esteem of the people 
to an unusual degree. 

Among the pioneer families that came to Sullivan county before 
1840, at least one that has since been prominent, brought to the county's 
citizenship some of the excellent qualities of the Pennsylvania Dutch. 
The Hoke family has been prominent as farmers and business men in 
Sullivan county for the greater part of seventy years, since Jacob F. 
and Susanna (Brentlinger ) Hoke settled here some time in the thirties. 
They were of Pennsylvania nativity, but they followed the general tend- 
ency of emigrants to this county, and lived for a time in Kentucky before 
moving to this county. 

Jacob Hoke was born in Jefiferson county, Kentucky, June 30, 
1809, and died January 25, 1875, on the farm in Haddon township where 
he had settled in 1830. He was a man of considerable wealth, and at one 
time was a county commissioner. He had been converted in a Methodist 
revival in 1839, and wa? connected with that church the rest of his life. 

Among the various family claims to priority in Sullivan county, it is 
asserted that Thomas Holder, Sr., built the first cabin put up by a white 
man north of Knox county and that he located in the vicinity that after- 
ward became Haddon township before the Ledgerwood family, though the 
latter is usually given precedence in the settlement of the county about 
Carlisle. At any rate, Thomas Holder came to this vicinity several years 
before the Tippecanoe campaign and the war of 18 12, and was a soldier 
in those hostilities under General Harrison. One of the block-houses in 


the vicinity of Carlisle was usually designated by the Holder family 
name, and there is no doubt that Thomas Holder deserves the prominence 
that is due one of the first men who braved the hardships and dangers 
of life on the edge of civilization. The Holders were from Virginia, thus 
adding another name to the notable list of the pioneer citizens furnished 
this county by the south. The pioneer had a large family, one of them 
being Thomas, Jr.. who was born in Haddon township in 1828, and 
whose associations with the farming and civil activities of this township 
are well remembered facts of the past century. 

The founder of the Jamison family near Sullivan, and the father of 
James and William Jamison, was Matthew Jamison, who died at Sullivan 
in August, 1883, at the age of seventy. He was a native of Fayette 
county, Ohio, and had lived in this county since 1875. 

South Carolina was the state which gave to Sullivan county the 
pioneer Jenkins family. Thomas and Nancy (Gill) Jenkins left Chester 
county. South Carolina, in 1807, and the former died during the long 
journey to the territory of Indiana, but his widow continued on to what 
became later Sullivan county and joined the Shaker community, being 
identified with that sect the rest of her life. The son, John Jenkins, who 
was born in South Carolina the year before the family migration, was 
at the time of his death one of the oldest residents of Sullivan county, 
and one of the largest farmers of the Carlisle neighborhood. 

James L. Johnson, wdio died in April, 1882, at Sullivan, where he 
had lived for the past ten years, became a member of the Hopewell 
church at Graysville in 1827. and was one of the oldest of that pioneer 
congregation. He was born in Tennessee January i, t8oo. and came to 


Indiana during territorial days, living first in Knox county and later 
moving to the vicinity of Graysville. 

One of the early settlers of Jackson township was Wyatt Johnson, 
who died at his home near the Greene county line. July 14, 1878, having 
come to the township nearly a half a century before. 

Robert Kirkham. who died October 5. 1879. at the age of 82, had 
lived in this county since 1832. He was a native of Nelson county, 

One of the veterans of the war of 181 2 who afterwards lived in 
Sullivan county was James Land, who died at his home near Carlisle, 
July 24, 1866. As a Kentucky volunteer he had seen hard service in 
Harrison's army, and was under the gallant Dudley at the capture of 
Fort ]\Ieig5 by the British. He was born in Jessamine county, Ken- 
tucky, October 14, 1792. and settled near Carlisle in 1821. 

Jacob N. Land was a native and almost lifelong citizen of Carlisle, 
a member of one of the old families, and his life history is strongly per- 
vaded with the military activity which has been characteristic of the 
family. He was born three miles northeast of Carlisle, December 25, 
1838. and died at Battle Creek, ^Michigan, July 26. 1899. He was edu- 
cated at Carlisle, and enlisting as a private in the 59th Infantry served 
from the first year of the war until 1865, being promoted to first ser- 
geant. He was in the drug business at Carlisle, 1870-72, and then 
studied law and was admitted to the bar, and being appointed justice of 
the peace was for more than twenty years Squire Land. He was a 
charter member of the George Rotramel Post, G. A. R.. and was its 


commander at the time of his death. He married in 1868 Mrs. Sarah 
J. Milner, and they had six children. 

Peter Lisman, of the well-known family of that name, was a soldier 
in the war of 1812, and had fought at the battle of Tippecanoe. He died 
in July, 1867, at the age of eighty-one. He had been a member of the 
Methodist church over forty-five years. 

The death of John Lisman, at the home of his son in New Lebanon, 
July 8, 1906, removed a native of the county whose name and the cir- 
cumstances of his early career connected him intimately with some of 
the best remembered traditions of early Sullivan county. He was born 
on the Lisman homestead one mile southeast of Carlisle, November 19, 
1814, and it is claimed that he was the fifth white child born in the 
county. When he was only three or four months old occurred what has 
since been known as the Dudley Mack massacre. On that day the parents 
of the Lisman baby were busy making maple sugar, and had put the 
boy in comfortable yet secret quarters in a hollow tree. When the word 
came that the Indians had massacred two boys, the mother left her baby 
concealed in the tree until she had roused her immediate neighbors, and 
the Lisman block-house was crowded until the fear and excitement passed 
over the frontier settlement. Having begun his life in such frontier 
scenes, it was the lot of John Lisman to live through all the remarkable 
epochs of development during the last century, and in many ways his 
life was a link between the period of first things in Sullivan county down 
to the twentieth century. He married in 1838 Elizabeth Johnson, who 
was born in the county a few weeks earlier than he, and was the fourth 
white child born in the county. 


Hugh ]\Ioore, who died at SulUvan June 24, 1901, was considered 
the pioneer in the development of the coal fields of this county. He 
was born in Xorthuniberland county, England, in May, 1825, and migrated 
to the L'nited States in 1852. He was a practical miner through wide and 
extended experience, and after he came to Sullivan county in 1866 he 
was identified with several of the important mining properties of the 
county. In 1870 he became a member of the Shelburn Coal Company and 
had charge of the sinking of the shaft at that point. He was superintend- 
ent of the Sullivan mine until it was abandoned in 1879. The daughters 
who survived him were ^Slrs. Charles P. Walker, ^Nlrs. William Wilson, 
and Mrs. James Hargraves. 

One of the active workers for temperance during the seventies was 
A\'illiam C. McBride, who died at Sullivan ]\Iarch 11, 1882. A few years 
before he had served as a justice of the peace, and had also been a 
preacher in the Christian church. 

Hugh !\IcCammon, of near Carlisle, was a veteran of two wars. He 
was one of the Kentucky volunteers who followed General Hopkins in 
the campaign against the Indians during the war of 1812. and over thirty 
years later had been a private in Captain Briggs' company in the ^Mexican 
war. He was a native of Hickman county, Kentuck}', and came to Sulli- 
van county about 18 17. He died at his residence near Carlisle January 
17, 1863. 

]\Iathew^ AlcCammon. of the same family, and prominent in politics, 
who died April 26, 1876. was born on a farm south of Sullivan in 1820. 
He had been elected to the office of sheriiT in i860 and 1862. and in 1872 
was again the Democratic nominee for the saiue office, but was defeated. 


William McCammon, who died at the home of his daughter, Airs. 
Cora Gilbert, October 1, 1903. was the thirteenth of the fourteen children 
born to William AlcCammun and Jemima St. Clair. He was born six 
miles south of Sullivan, March 1, 1841. With the exception of five years 
spent in Terre Haute his life was passed in Sullivan, where he was a 
successful business man. In 1881 he built the McCammon Hotel, in 
which his funeral was held. He married in 1864 Rose D. Pearce. 

For two terms the office of county treasurer was filled by Abram 
McClellan, a well-known citizen of Gill township, whose death was 
recorded in January, 1890, at the age of about 65. After two terms as 
trustee of Gill township he was elected to the office of county treasurer in 
1875 and again in 1877, and later was again township trustee and also a 
justice of the peace. He was a member of the Christian church. 

Thomas F. Mackcy, who died October 30, 1889, i'^ ^^^'^^ remembered 
for his activity in church work and also for his interest in local politics 
in behalf of the laboring men. He had been a member of the Methodist 
church since 1849, for many years was an official member, and was 
earnest in Sunday school affairs. 

James A. Marlow, who w-as elected the first superintendent of schools 
in Sullivan county, met accidental death in July; 1896, being struck by 
an engine of a passenger-train at Shelbyville. He was a native of Sullivan 
county and about fifty-two years of age. Since leaving the office of 
superintendent he had been traveling agent for a school book publishing 

The Kentucky family named Mann, which had several well-known 

representatives at different periods of history, was established in this 
Vol. 1—5 


count}- in 1819, their homestead being near Merom. A former circuit 
clerk and prominent Democrat in the county was the late Thomas J. 
Mann of this family, a grandson of the original immigrant. The grand- 
father "judge" Mann, was a prominent citizen of Merom, in and prior 
to the forties. One daughter became the wife of the Hon. Henry K. 
Wilson and one married O'Boyce, one of the prominent merchants of 
that place, who subsequently moved to Terre Haute and engaged in 
the wholesale business. "Mann's Tavern," which was on the stage line 
between Terre Haute and A'incennes, and gave entertainment to "man 
and beast," was a noted hostelry and often entertained many men of note 
such as Gen. Harrison, "Dick" Johnson, Lewis Cass and others equally 
well known. 

A pioneer family who have been in the county since the time of 
the war of 1812 and before the county was organized was represented 
by John Maxwell, who died July 27, 1882. He was born in Bourbon 
county, Kentucky, January 30, 1803, and came with his father to Wayne 
county, Indiana, in 1806, and thence to Sullivan county about the close 
of the war of 1812. From the south part of the county the family moved 
to the vicinity of Caledonia in 1820. There they began the erection of 
the usual pioneer dwelling, a log cabin. When the timbers were ready 
for the "raising" the son John was sent out to invito the neighbors, and 
in order to get a sufficient force it was necessary for him to visit every 
home on Curry's prairie. The family tradition is to the effect that at 
that time there was not a white man's cabin from the eastern edge of 
Sullivan county to the White river. John Maxwell married Polly Polk, 
September 11, i82'3, and the following year settled one mile south of his 
father's home. His first wife died in 1844, and he then married Mary M. 


Lariniore. l-or more than sixty years he was a worker in the Christian 

In Kentucky was born Thomas R. McKinney in 1803. The family 
migration to the north side of the Ohio river was made in 1815, and 
since 1829 the McKinney family has been identified with Sullivan county, 
through the residence of Thomas R. or some of his sons. 

Elder Thomas R. McKinney gave many years of his active life 
to the work of the Little Flock church in Curry township, with the his- 
tory of which his name should be associated. His parents were Presbv- 
terians, and he was reared in that faith, but in 1834 changed his views 
on the subject of baptism and united with the Little Flock congregation. 
Being soon after ordained a minister of the gospel, he served as pastor 
and moderator of the Little Flock church until 1866. In that year he 
moved from Curry's prairie to Haddon township, and from that time 
was identified with the membership of the Sullivan church. He died at 
his residence near Paxton, April 12, 1877. His wife was Jane McGrew. 

Another prominent family whose residence was in Kentucky prior 
to the settlement in Sullivan county was the Milams. Henry R. Milam 
is one of the conspicuous and aged representatives of this family still 
living in Gill township. Several heads of families bearing that name 
came from Kentucky to the vicinity of Carlisle about the close of the 
war of 1 81 2- 1 5, and the family relationship has always been large in the 

With a knowledge of the conditions of a century ago, the limitations 
of travel and the meagerness of information about distant localities. 


and the practical absence of all the facilities which now make com- 
munication with all parts of the country both easy and rapid, it 
seems nothing less than remarkable that men living in the old world 
an<l the settled states of the east should assume the risks and hard- 
ships of an emigration to the interior of America, there to found 
homes and spread the civilization of an older order. That a familv 
should remove from the r)ritish Isles, during the first decade of the past 
century, and establish itself in the territory of Indiana, under the pro- 
tection of the block-house communities of the Wabash valley, co-operating 
with others in producing the comforts of civilization and in sharing in 
its prosperit}', is a matter worthy of particular note in a historv of Sulli- 
van county. Such is the record of the AlcConnel family, which has lived 
in Sullivan county for more than a century, and has several well-known 
citizens of that name in the county at the present time. A Scotchman of 
the name brought his family to America in 1805, ^^'^^^ '^ y^^^ or so after 
reaching the eastern states had found his way to the new country of 
the Wabash. Andrew ^McConnel, a son of this immigrant, was a boy 
here during the exciting years of the war of 181 2. and his son. Bailev 
^NlcConnel, is still one of the prominent citizens of Haddon township. 

The Alinich family of Haddon township in its earlier generations had 
a home in A'irginia, and still further back was of German origin. The 
Mrginia ancestor, Adam ]\Iinich. was born about 1791, and served in 
the war of 1812, presumably while still a resident of Mrginia. After 
that he went across the mountains into Tennessee, and from there came 
to Haddon township in 1819 and entered government land. Amid the 
changes incident to modern American life and the restlessness that char- 
acterizes most men. it is pleasant to remark that this farm has never 
passed out of the possession of the iMinichs from the day it was entered 


in the government land office, and is still the hume of a son of the 
original pioneer, Pleasant A. ]\linich, who was horn on this place over 

eighty-five years ago. 

Nathan Miles, who died at his home in Sullivan, Septemher 8. 1878, 
aged about 70. was born near Lexington, Kentucky, and had lived since 
an early age near New Lebanon. 

Col. William Minter, who was killed by a runaway team March 15, 
1882, was perhaps the only permanent resident of Sullivan count}' who 
participated in the. war for Texas independence. AMien about eighteen 
years old, in 1836, he had been attracted to the Texas country and had 
enlisted in the army raised to repel the invading Santa Ana, being in 
the battle of San Jacinto, which l:,rought independence. He soon after 
returned to his old home in Shelby county. Kentucky, and in 1840 moved 
to Sullivan county. Here he took part in another phase of pioneer life. 
During the period before the coming of the railroads he was one of the 
carriers who took the mail at Merom and conveyed it on to Terre Haute. 
He married Malinda Pinkston in 1845. and after a brief residence in 
Missoitri settled near Merom, where he continued to reside until his 
death. He was noted for his courtesy and hospitalit}', though his quiet 
and unobtrusive manner did not often permit him to mingle in public 

On July 5, 1864, Lieut. -Col. Frank Nefif was buried in the Sullivan 
cemetery with military honors, some of the veterans and returned volun- 
teers forming a squad to accompany the l)ody to its last resting place in 
the Sullivan cemetery. Colonel Neff was born in Boyle county. Ken- 
tuck}-, in 1832. his parents soon after moving to Hendricks county, this 


state, and he received liis education at Bloomington, graduating from the 
law school of Judge AlcDonald and later entering a law office in Dan- 
ville. After his marriage he located in Sullivan, and wa^^ among the first 
volunteers after the firing on Fort Sumter. From the office of lieutenant 
he had filled the intermediate grades in his advancement to the rank of 
lieutenant colonel, and served with gallantry at Fort Donelscn, Shiloh, 
Stone River. Chickamauga, and at Kenesaw Alountain. where he received 
his death wound. 

John Osborn was born in Kentucky in 1789, and came to Sullivan 
county in 1826, living here till his death in 185 1. His wife, ncc Gardner, 
was also born in Kentucky. 

"Uncle Billy" Owens, who died at his home in Turman township, 
February 25, 1903. was a citizen whose life span covered nearly 
ninety-four years, and since 1837 had been a resident of Turman town- 
ship. When a boy he worked in a butcher shop patronized by President 
Andrew Jack.son, and this acquaintance with^that rugged champion of 
democracy made him one of the most ardent supporters whom "Old 
Hickory" could claim. In 1843 Uncle Billy hauled lumber for the 
first house in Sullivan. He was twice married and leaves numerous 

Col. Ed Price was a former county ofificial. and a native of the 
county, born at Merom in 1833. and died at his home in Sullivan, June 
7, 1893. -■^s ^ boy he worked in the store of James Reed at ]\Ierom. and 
during his later employment in the dry-goods store of William Wilson 
at Sullivan he gained an acquaintance and popularity that made his can- 
didacy in 1858 for the office of county treasurer very successful, and two 


years later he was re-elected. In 1865 he was elected clerk of the circuit 
court, and he made H. K. Wilson his deputy and turned his attention to 
merchandising. His business enterprise was not successful, and he later 
held a position in the state auditor's ofifice under James H. Rice. 

James Harvey Reed, who at one time held the office of county 
recorder, and later was known about the court house as deputy auditor, 
died in January, 1873, then fifty-five years old. Between terms of office 
he was a farmer in Fairbanks township. He was a member of the Little 
Flock Baptist church. 

A numerous family of this county, dating- from pioneer times, are 
the Ridgeways. One branch of the family, of which Levi was the settler, 
came from Kentucky to the Ledgerwood neighborhood not long after the 
war of 181 2. Levi had served in the New Orleans campaign under 
Captain Peacock, whose daughter he later married, and then came to 
Sullivan county. 

James Thomas Reid, who was a druggist at Sullivan in partnership 
with Dr. Hinkle during the fifties, died at Denver, Colorado, July 25, 
1899. He was born in JeiTerson township in 1842. After leaving the 
retail drug business, he was a traveling salesman a number of years, but 
in 1875 returned to Sullivan and engaged in the grocery and milling 
business. During the Civil war he served as a member of the 85th 
Indiana. He was a ^lason and a member of the Methodist church. He 
married Miss Sue Lyons in 1866. 

One of the soldiers who came to Indiana at the beginning of the war 
of 18 1 2 and later effected settlement in Sullivan county was Hezekiah 
Riggs, whose grandson, William Riggs, is now a resident of Fairbanks 


township. A native of Virginia, he settled at Carlisle wlien he left the 
army, and about 1815 married Lydia Ingie, whose ]:)arents, it is said, 
became residents of this part of Indiana about 1803. 

Commodore P. Riggs, who died December 3, iSyi, was a former 
incumbent of the office of county treasurer, having been elected to that 
office in 1878 by about a thousand majority, and in 1880 was re-elected 
by an even increased majority. He was a native of Fairbanks township, 
and after his marriage lived for many years near Shelburn, being a 
member of the AT. E. church. 

The late Thomas L. Roberts, who died at his home on North Section 
street, Sullivan, April 14, 1901, came to Sullivan in 1866, being at the 
time in the employ of the E. & T. H. Railroa<l. He is remembered for 
his genial temperament and his interest in sciences and literature, and was 
a man of broad accjuaintances. He was eighty-five -years old when he 
died, and was born at Battletown, near Hastings, England, and was 
brought to America when eight years old. He s]ient his youth in New 
York, but in 1836 became an engineer on the ^Madison and Indianapolis 
Railroad, the first railroad line in the state. He knew personally Gen. 
William Henry Harrison, Henry Clay, Zachary Taylor and other noted 
men of the time, also the poet O'Hara, who wrote the "Bivouac of the 
Dead." He was a member of the Methodist church. He was twice mar- 
ried. His eldest daughter became the mother of Senator Beveridge's 
first wife, and among the other children William B. was private secretary 
of several Indiana governors and of Senator Beveridge. 

Charles Scott, who was born on a farm south of New Lebanon, 
November 20, 1823, and died at Sullivan, May g, 1908, was an early mer- 


chant of Sullivan and for several terms county commissioner. He was a 
school teacher during his youth, and after coming to Sullivan in 1857 
by industry and thrift accumulated enough to enter the clothing and 
mercantile business with James Hinkle. In 1867 he sold out and moved 
to a farm. He voted for Polk in 1844, and was elected and served as 
county commissioner three terms, 1874-77, 1886-92. His first wife was 
Mary J. Ryerson and his second Mary J. Carrithers. 

The Sherman family came from North Carolina to Sullivan county 
in 1816. Samuel and Elizabeth (Lewis) Sherman lived in the county 
over thirty years, and left a number of descendants. Thomas K. Sher- 
man, a son, was formerly a banker at Sullivan and a well-known business 
man. He was born seven miles southwest of Sullivan, September 26, 
1829, and when twenty years old began teaching, farming and other occu- 
pations, and later went into the dry-goods business at Sullivan. He was 
both president and cashier of the Sullivan National Bank, and was also 
incumbent of several county offices. His first wife was Sarah Elizabeth 
Jewell, and his second, Amanda J. DeBaun. He died in 1903. 

C. B. Shepard was one of the county commissioners during the war. 
He was born on Shaker prairie March 12, 18 19, and died June 29, 1883. , 
He was an active figure in the politics of the county for many years. 

William McKendree Springer, who died at Washington in 1903. was 
one of the native sons of Sullivan county who became prominent in the 
nation. He was a member of the well-known family of the name in Gill 
township, where he was born May 30, 1836, moved to Jacksonville, Illi- 
nois, in 1848, but returned to Indiana to complete his education in the 
State U^niversitv. from which he was graduated in 1858. He was a 


member of the Illinois constitutional convention in 1870, and was a mem- 
ber of the lower house of the legislature in 1872. He was elected to 
Congress from the Sprinfield district in 1874. and served in the 44th to 
53d Congresses. He is credited with having" led the fight against the 
McKinley tariff, which resulted in Cleveland's second election. H2 was 
one of the most active leaders in the long movement for the organization 
of the Indian Territory and the opening of Oklahoma. After his last 
term in Congress he served a while as judge of the United States court 
for Indian Territory, and then practiced law in Washington until his 

Nathan Thomas, who died April 20, 1905. was for twenty years 
county surveyor, and in that capacity had laid oft' a large portion of the 
town of Sullivan. He was born near Connersville, Indiana, December 
25. 1820. and for a number of years taught school, being a teacher in 
this county after he moved here about 1852. He was also a farmer, but 
the last ten years of his life were spent in Sullivan. He married Anna 
Aloore. ]Mrs. J. ]\I. Lang, Mrs. A. B. Stansil and Dr. Anna T. Sheridan 
are his daughters. 

One of the prominent men in the aft"airs of Sullivan, whose name 
often appears in connection with the enterprises of half a century ago, 
was Lafayette Stewart, who died at Sullivan, February 29, 1884. He was 
born in Floyd countv, Indiana, in 1826, and after coming to this county 
followed the business of cabinetmaker, later was a merchant. He was not 
active in local politics beyond holding the ofifice of township trustee. The 
editor of the Democrat referred to him as a man of strong convictions 
and very earnest in his advocacy of them, and yet very courteous in all 
his intercourse with men of variety of opinion. For many years he was 


a deacon in the Presbyterian church, and was long master of the local 
Masonic lodge. 

Thomas Turman. who was the leading representative of the family of 
that name in this county during the first half of the last century, was 
born in A'irginia in 1796 and came to Indiana territory with his father 
Benjamin in 1810. During the thirties he served in the Black Hawk war. 
He built two mills in his community in Turman township, using the 
waters of Turman creek, and these were of great benefit to the people of 
that vicinity if they were not to the proprietor. He was elected and 
served in the legislature in 1843-44. He died at his residence in Turman 
township, June 30, 1863. 

Wilbur \'an P'ossen, who was captain of Company C, 59th Indiana 
Infantry, during the Civil war, and was the first commander of the 
Frank NeflF Post, G. A. R.. died at his home three miles west of Carlisle, 
November 21, 1899. 

Frederick Wilkey, who died at his residence five miles west of Sulli- 
van, July 8, 1880, was one of the organizers of the old Methodist society 
known as Mt. Tabor, and the church was built on the southwest corner of 
his farm. He was born in Clark county, Indiana, October 18. 1819. and 
came to Sullivan county in 1837, with his step-father Kelley. who located 
and gave the name to Kelley's Landing. Mr. Wilkey joined the Methodist 
church soon after coming to this county. 

George W. W'alker, founder of a well-known family of Haddon 
township, was originally from North Carolina, accompanied the family 
migration to Tennessee, and after a brief residence in Kentucky he came 


to Sullivan county in 1826. He died at his home east of Carlisle, Jan- 
uary 26, 1882, when past 87 years of age. He had been drafted for 
service in the war of 1812. His first wife was Elizabeth Cook, and his 
second, Rhoda Blevins. 

Tennessee was also an intermediate home for the \\'heeler family. 
between the date of its residence in the east and its final permanent loca- 
tion in Sullivan county. Hugh Wheeler w-as born in Tennessee at the 
beginning of the century, moved to Clark county. Indiana, in 1824, and six 
years later established the family home in Sullivan county. 

Peter Wilson during his youth left his native state of Mrginia. cross- 
ing the mountain barrier into Tennessee, where he lived long enough to 
marry and start a family, and in 1828 came to Sullivan county with his 
brothers, John, Adam and George. Peter Wilson was the son of a Revo- 
lutionary soldier, himself served in the war of 1812. and members of the 
familv have served in every important war of the nation. The \\'ilsons 
are still well represented in the citizenship of this county. 

Henry K. Wilson occupied a place of varied and great usefulness 
in the early afifairs of Sullivan county, and his death on November i, 
1882, was marked as the passing of one of the eminent citizens. He was 
born in eastern Tennessee, January 12, 1815, and being without educa- 
tional opportunities he learned to cipher on thin pieces of slate picked up 
on the mountainside. The family came to Indiana in 1831. In 1834 his 
father took hiiu to }^Ierom and made arrangements with Benjamin Wolfe, 
then countv clerk, that the boy should find a place in the office as deputy. 
His capabilities w^ere such that on the expiration of Mr. Wolfe's term 
it was suggested on the day of election that the deputy should be given 


the office, and almost enough votes were cast to elect him, although he was 
not yet of age. When the county seat was moved to Sullivan, Mr. Wilson 
was appointed to the vacancy in the clerk's office, lie was clerk of the 
circuit court when the court house and its records hurned in I'ehruary, 
1850. So accurate was his memory of persons who had annualh- paid 
interest to the school fund that he was enabled to notify all borrowers, 
and the school fund suffered no loss. In 1855 ^""^ ^^''is auditor. His strict 
economy and integrity in all public offices were notable. He served twice 
in the state senate, and though he never tried to make a speech he was an 
excellent worker in committee. In 1842 he married Mary E. Mann, 
daughter of Judge Alann of Aleroiu. His second wife was Mrs. Sallie J. 
Pogue. One of his sons was a graduate of the naval academy and served 
in the navy. 

The late John Harvey Wilson, whose death January 18, 1904. 
removed one of the oldest residents of the county and also one of the 
finest types of its citizenship, was born near Greenville, Tennessee, Jan- 
uary 27, 181 1, the oldest child of Adam and Margaret Wilson. Both his 
grandfathers served in the Revolutionary war. The family came to 
Sullivan county in 1832, settling at first near Carlisle and later in Cass 
township. Harvey Wilson assisted in laying out the town of Sullivan. 
He was a teacher in one of the early log school houses of the county. 
He had attained his majority before leaving Tennessee, and it was the 
custom in the family that that event be celebrated by the father presenting 
the grown son a suit of clothes. The suit given to John Harvey was 
made by a poor tailor of Greenville, named Andrew Johnson, later presi- 
dent of the United States. This is the current version of the story, but 
it is probable that the suit was tailored before Wilson reached his major- 
ity, since Andrew Johnson was by that time well advanced in his political 


career. In 1832 Harvey Wilson cast his first vote for /\ndre\v Jackson. 
In 1840 he was elected sheriff of Sullivan county, and during his two 
terms of office the county seat was moved to Sullivan. In 1845 s""^' '850 
he represented the county in the legislature. He was a Mason for fort} 
years, and for about an equal period was an elder in the Presbyterian 
church. He married, November 25, 1862, Mrs. Dorcas Lyons Patton. 

On January 22, 1892, death removed John Willis, at the age of sixty- 
eight. A highly respected and prosperous citizen, he lived for many 
years on a farm north of Sullivan, and for several years before his death 
had resided in Sullivan. 

Benjamin Wolfe, who died at his home on Shaker })rairie, D.xember 
6, 1868, was one of the oldest citizens of the county and had been iden- 
tified with official afifairs wdiile the county seat was on the blufifs of the 
Wabash at Merom. He came to Sullivan county in 1819. was elected 
clerk of the court in 1830, was postmaster at Merom in 1831, was again 
elected clerk in 1837, and resigned that office when the county seat was 
moved to Sullivan. In 1846 he was elected to the legislature and served 
three terms in succession, and was also a member of the constitutional 
convention of 1851-52. In 1865 he was again chosen to the legislature. 
He was a man of untiring energy and succeeded in accumulating a large 

He was born in Culpeper county, Mrginia, April 18. 1799, the 
son of a shoemaker. His father was not a good financier, and. the family 
being large, Benjamin assumed responsibilities beyond his years and at 
ten years of age was working to keep the family from poverty. He 
remained with his father until he was twenty-two years old, helping 
to support the family of fourteen children, and he had no time for attend- 
ing school and never could recall when or how he learned to read. Later 


he attended school for a few months, and at the age of twenty-eight 
entered Miami University, making the trip from liume on foot, and 
studied there two years. After leaving home he had engaged in the 
principal line of commerce then followed, the shipping of produce in 
flat-boats to the southern markets. For twenty years he followed this 
business, building his own boats and often directing them to the New 
Orleans markets. He was proud of the record that he had never lust a 
boat or a cargo. When a member of the legislature he presented the 
first bill to charter a railroad from Evansville to Terre Haute. In 1852 
he moved lo Bloomington to educate his children, and while there he was 
postmaster three years. He married, in 1831, Isabella Shepherd. He 
was a member of the Christian church. 

Pioneer Reminiscence. 

In 1905 the Democrat published some interesting reminiscences by 
pioneers of the county. The following paragraphs contain an abstract of 
the essential facts covered in these stories : 

The first relates to the school days of "Uncle" Len Bailey in the 
Gardner schoolhouse on Curry's prairie. The building was of logs daubed 
with mud, a puncheon floor, and the ceiling of planks fastened with 
wooden pins driven through auger holes into the rafters. The house was 
so cold that the knots on the unhewed sides of the benches froze, bulged 
out and fell to the floor. The one stove in the center of the room was the 
only stove in that section of the country, and was the gift of Willis Bene- 
field to the school district. Mr. Benefield owned a valuable horse, Old 
Jane, of Kentucky stock, and one of the fastest of her time. One day a 
stranger from Kentucky boasted that he had a horse which could outrun 
anv horse in this section. He was promptly challenged for a race, and 


when he insisted on wagering a considerable amount of money on the 
result, Mr. Benefield covered the amount, and the race was run on the 
pubhc road. Old Jane won easily, and from the winnings was bought 
the stove for the school. Old Jane, with the possible exception of Old 
Puss, who was brought to this county in the sixties, was the fastest horse 
ever owned here. Old Puss was state champion. She was a quarter-miler, 
with a record of sixteen seconds for that distance. 

Thomas Shepherd, who cast his first vote in 1848, then lived on the 
site of the present town of Hymera. The log house used for school and 
public meetings stood where the ^L E. church is located. The window 
of the old school was merely an opening from which a log had been re- 
moved, and the door was an opening only large enough to allow a person 
of medium size to enter, and was closed wuth a log which when not in use 
was leaned against the side of the building. 

Thomas ]\Iorgan, who was born in Gill township in 1830, at the age 
of twenty-one helped his father build a flatboat, 80 by 20 feet, with a hold 
of seven feet depth. Between the floor and the outside facing of the boat 
a space of ten or twelve inches was left in which the water might accumu- 
late and be pumped out without damaging the stock. His father received 
$150 for building the boat, and it was loaded with three thousand bushels 
of corn. Thomas ^Morgan engaged to accompany Captain Springer with 
this cargo to New Orleans, and the start was made in March, 18 — . At 
Natchez Captain Springer tied up and sold his boat and cargo for $3,000, 
which netted a profit of sixty-five cents a bushel for the corn. The return 
was made by steamboat as far as Evansville, thence to Princeton over the 
railroad that is now the Evansville & Terre Haute, and the rest of the 
journey to Carlisle was by stage. Another method by which some of the 


residents of this vicinity carried on a profitable trade was in the Inlying 
of kihi-dried apples and peaches from the farmers at fifty cents a bushel, 
and then transporting them overland to Chicago or Milwaukee, where 
they could be sold at one dollar and a dollar and a half respectively. A 
wagon load was about sixty or seventy bushels, and it required two weeks 
to make the trip to Chicago and return and a week longer to Milwaukee. 

An article in the Democrat of November i6, 1905, by S. H. Silver 
contains an excellent description of the implements used in farming and 
housekeeping in the early days. His grandfather, Thomas Bennett, was 
one of the earliest settlers in his part of the county, owning land in Hamil- 
ton township on the Merom road. In house building and the fabrication 
of nearly all the implements used on the farm the pioneers seldom used 
nails or rivets. Timbers were joined with wooden pins, and where pins 
could not be used, hickory-bark withes were employed. Bark ties were 
to the farmers of that time what wire and binder twine are now. One man 
said that a plow point was the first thing he had found that could not be 
fastened with a withe. Another, on being asked at April election if he 
had plowed any that spring, replied, "No ; my gears are so broken up that 
I could not rig my teams until hickory bark would peel." 


A fine shirt was seldom seen, but every man or boy who wished to 
dress up wore a dickey. This white linen bosom was worn over the shirt 
and fastened at the neck and waist with strings. In hot weather some dis- 
carded the shirt and wore the dickey and a light coat. At the general elec- 
tions in August whisky flowed freely, and one man under its inspiration 
threw ofif his coat preparatory to a fight. The laugh that went up when 

it was noticed that he wore no shirt cooled his ardor. 
Vol. 1—6 


The cooking utensils consisted of a three-legged skillet, Dutch oven, 
pots, and a sheet-iron skillet with a handle three feet long, called a fly or 
spider, and a smooth board eight inches wide — the johnny board. The 
nearest approach to a cook stove that was ow'ned by Mr. Silver's mother 
until 1848 was a tin reflector, twenty inches long and fourteen inches wide, 
which, before a hot fire, would bake pies and biscuit nicely. 

In the harvests, after the cradles were introduced, the wages of an 
ordinary reaper were fifty cents a day, while the cradler got one dollar. 
In threshing, when inconvenient to use horses for tramping the grains, 
flails were used. In winnowing, if the \yind was insufficient, a sheet was 
fastened to a stake and flapped up and down to create enough air cur- 
rent to separate the chafif from the wheat. Grist mills being few, the 
mortar and pestle were used to supplement them. The mortar was made 
by setting a log on end and building a fire on top. The drier heart 
burned out to the depth of six or eight inches, leaving a smooth cavity. 
The pestle was an iron wedge, affixed to the end of a spring-pole. A 
handful of corn being thrown into the cavity, the pestle was pounded 
vigorously, and after the bran was separated the heavier portions of the 
grain were again placed in the mortar and pounded until reduced to meal 
of tolerable fineness. Wheat was ground the same way, but it was also 
"bolted." Wheat bread among the pioneers of this county was usually 
the luxury of the Sunday meal. 

Log rollings were also a feature of the life of this pioneer family. 
This work lasted twenty-one days in succession one year, Sundays ex- 
cepted. After that it was agreed that the rollings should also discontinue 
on Saturdays, so that the men might have a day to attend to their indi- 
vidual affairs. A feature of all such occasions, and one that only gradu- 


ally was abolished, was the furnishing- of whisk}- to all the men who took 
part in the work. At log rollings this was called "tapping of the stump." 
The jug was placed ahead of the men in a hollow stump, and when in 
the course of the work the men reached that point the liquor was passed 
around to all who would drink and there were few exceptions in the early 
days. Then the jug was moved on to another stump. A jug was also 
kept in the barn for the men when they went to their meals. 



The first organized military force that went from Sulhvan county 
for service in the field was a company organized for the war with [Mexico. 
Although the war with ^lexico was not one of principle nor for anv cause 
that was likely to stir the patriotism of the whole nation, it excited much 
interest in Sullivan county, and when the news came that "war is," a 
movement was at once begun to help fill out Indiana's quota. Joseph 
W. Briggs was foremost in this activity, and a few meetings at different 
points in the county brought out sufficient volunteers to make a com- 
pany. About July, 1846. the volunteers left for New Albany, where 
they were assigned, as Company H, to the Second Indiana Regiment. 
The officers of the company were : Joseph W. Briggs, captain ; Justus 
Davis, first lieutenant ; Israel Benefiel, second lieutenant ; Solomon Loud- 
ermilk, third lieutenant ; Henry Dooley. R. ^IcGrew. James H. W'ier, 
James Hancock, sergeants ; Harvey \\'ilson, John B. Hughes, Hosea C. 
Buckley, Thomas E. Ashley, corporals. The privates of the regiment 
at the time of the muster out were : Henry Adams, W'ilie Adams, N. 
Brower, Phillip Brower, John Borders. Willis Benefiel. ^lichael Borders, 
James B. Booker, Nelson F. Bolton, Robert Calvert, Patrick Carley, 
Charles Child, Thomas Coulter, George Davidson, Alfred Davis. John 



Edds, Joseph Engle, William Essex, Richard Goss, H. M. Gilliam, James 
Garrett, Nathan Gatson, King Hamilton, Jonathan Hart, A. A. Hamilton, 
James Holsten, John Hill, Joseph Hooten, E. D. Hart, William Ireland, 
Henry Jones, J. J. Loudermilk, Preston Mosier, Redmon Alalone, Gabriel 
Moots, Levin Nash, Benjamin Plew, John Ravenscroft, Charles Risinger, 
Charles G. Readay, Michael Ring, John L. Robinson, Joseph Strong, 
Volney E. Swaim. William Shepard. Alfred Smith, Elijah Voorhies, 
Mark Wilson, Andrew Winters, William D. Wier, William Wheeler. 
Meshack Draper, Thomas Price and Richard Jenkins lost their lives in 
battle ; John Shepard, John Marlow, F. J. Copeland, Enoch T. Reeves, 
John Vanosdoll and James W. Beauchamp were victims of disease. 
Those discharged before the muster out were Edmund Jones. W. R. 
Patton, Samuel A. Thompson, John Engle, Benjamin Johnson, John 
Mosier, Hugh McCammon, Henry Ransford, William -Readay, Joseph 
Wells, Lewis E. Duncan, H. J. A. Burgett, Thomas Evans, Bonaparte 
D. Walls, John O. Watson. 

The Second Indiana was sent to New Orleans in July, 1846, and 
from there to the Rio Grande, where it joined the forces under General 
Zachary Taylor. In February, 1847, i^ participated in the decisive battle 
of Buena Vista, occupying the extreme left of the American army, which 
bore the brunt of the Mexican attack. The regiment saw little active 
service after this battle, being occupied at various points in jNIexico till 
the close of the war. 

Sullivan County During the Civil War. 
At the presidential election of i860, the voters of Sullivan county 
were divided as follows : 

Douglas 1,858 Breckenridge 128 

Lincoln 856 BeU 55 


The Douglas Democracy stood for "squatter sovereignty" as a means 
of settling the question of slavery or no slavery in the territories ; and 
for the preservation of the Union of states. The abolition of slavery was 
not an issue expressly presented by any of the political parties. 

Aside from its decisive expression of opinion in the election of i860, 
Sullivan county continued throughout the following years of war stead- 
fast in its adherence to a well defined policy of that period, namely, that 
the Union ought to be preserved, that the regularly constituted govern- 
ment was superior to all others and should be maintained, that there was 
no constitutional authority for secession, but that every peaceable means 
should be tried to preserve the Union rather than a resort to arms, and 
that no interference with slavery should be attempted. 

In December, i860, a meeting was held at Sullivan at which the 
"Crittenden Compromise" was favored as the best means for preserving 
the L'nion and averting war. The prevailing sentiment was that it was 
better that slavery should enter the territories rather than have war. 

At this time and throughout the war, Murray Briggs, editor of the 
Democrat, was an editor who not only recorded public opinion but exer- 
cised a powerful influence in molding, it. At this late day, when most of 
the passions aroused by the conflict have been stilled, it is possible to give 
full expression to admiration of this editor's independence of judgment 
and clear opinions, as manifested in his editorial columns from week to 
week. Before the outbreak of the war he said that it was difficult to 
concede the right of a state to secede, and thus destroy the government, 
but that he preferred secession to bloody, internecine war. April 11, 
1861, his opinion was that "if ]Mr. Lincoln supposes that the people of the 
countrv will sustain him in any effort to compel the cotton states to re- 
main in the L^nion, or return to it, by force of arms, he is vastly mis- 


taken." He was still disposed to peace after Sumter had fallen. This 
caused a number of citizens in the southwestern part of the county to in- 
form him that he was unpatriotic, and to this he replied: "We reiterate 
our remarks of last w^eek, that if the war must come, and nothing will 
satisfy the powers of either section but a resort to arms, our wishes are 
for the success of the regularly constituted authorities under which we 
live." His discriminative allegiance was again mistaken for disloyalty, 
and on May 9. 1861^ he restated his principles: "We have never believed 
in secession — the right is nowhere acknowledged in our constitution. . . . 
Had the hot-spurs of the cotton states waited for this means [the ballot 
box] to redress their wrongs, they would have done well. We have no 
sympathy for their movement. We have been given to understand that 
the leaders in this scheme are sustained by the people with great una- 
nimity ; we trust that it is not so, but that when the conflict comes they 
will refuse to sustain their self-constituted authorities in this unnatural 
w^ar, and return to their old allegiance. Since we must have war, it is 
manifestly the duty of every man who professes attachment to the Union 
to sustain the president as the legally constituted head of the government. 
There must be authority of government, or anarchy will prevail." 

Charges of disloyalty and treason were heard on every hand, and it 
is not strange that men of the highest and most sincere motives were 
sometimes involved in the net of suspicion and slander. The veteran 
printer and editor, John Wilson Osborn, who had been a reformer all 
his life, and a man of undeniable sincerity, though vehement in his rad- 
icalism, was an object of much criticism during the w^ar. His paper, 
The Stars and Stripes, which he conducted at Sullivan during the war, 
w^as pronounced in its Union sentiment and strong in its support of the 
Republican administration. In March, 1862, a card was addressed to the 
editor, as follows : "We charge you with giving aid and comfort to the 


rebels by constantly asserting that the Democratic party was disloyal and 
sympathizing with them. This you knew to be false, and added that 
offense to your treason. How could you more effectually give aid and 
comfort to the enemy than by representing that such large numbers of 
your fellow citizens were disloyal and desired the success of the 
rebellion ?" 

The attitude of the two political parties toward the war is shown 
in the resolutions adopted at the county conventions in 1862. The 
Republicans met about the middle of June. Valentine Moore was chair- 
man and James W. Hinkle secretary. They deplored the horrors of war. 
but expressed confidence in the existing administration, and then con- 
tinued with the following somewhat ambiguous resolution : "While we 
repudiate the agitation of the slavery question in and out of Congress 
by the anti-slavery men, and the lovers of that 'peculiar institution" out of 
slave states, as a firebrand kept alive to divide us, and to consume our 
democratic form of government by the destruction of our constitution, 
we denounce all sympathy with the originators and leaders of the rebel- 
lion, with whom there should be no fraternal feeling by any other than 
those who prefer being subjugated and murdered by an American traitor 
rather than a less criminal foreign foe." 

On July 4th occurred the Democratic county convention. Dr. 
Michael Branson was chairman. A. Van Fossen secretary. Willis G. 
Neff was indorsed for prosecuting attorney. They resolved that '"the 
Democracy of Sullivan county are, as they have ever been, opposed alike 
to secessionism and abolitionism." They pledged themselves to renewed 
efforts for the preservation of the constitution, and for the election to 
Congress of such patriots as Dan Voorhees and his co-laborers in Con- 
gress, "who have the nerve to apprise the abolitionists that this govern- 
ment was established for white men and not for negroes." They con- 


demned the violation of constitutional power by officials and protested 
against the use of the people's money either in the District of Columbia 
or in the southern states for the feeding or clothing of worthless contra- 
bands inside our lines "while our own soldiers have in many cases 
suffered for the necessaries of life." Aside from the excitement and 
crowd incident to the convention, there were no exercises to commemorate 
the Fourth of July. The annual Methodist Sunday-school picnic was 
held at Merom. 

A rather picturesque demonstration was the Democratic mass meet- 
ing in August, 1862. Crowds came in from Greene and Daviess counties 
and camped near the town the night before, and on the next day the 
throng was so dense that marshals had difficulty in handling them. About 
ten thousand people, it was estimated, were present. One of the features 
of the day was a procession made up of 1,700 men and women mounted 
on horseback, divided into companies, each company representing a state 
of the Union. The speaker's stand was in the grove north of the depot, 
where Willis G. Neft' presided. The attraction of the day was the bril- 
liant orator, Dan Voorhees. In a speech of two hours he denounced 
disunionists, both north and south, laid the responsibility for the war 
upon the Republican party, not upon Lincoln, who, he said, had been 
overruled. The speaker also opposed all schemes for the purchase of 
slaves, and laws forbidding the extension of slavery into new territory. 
Following Voorhees, Joseph E. McDonald discoursed for two hours, and 
the long day closed with recruiting speeches at the court house. It was 
about this time that Captain Holdson's company was raised for the 
Ninety-seventh Regiment, and recruits were being accepted for other 

A few days later the Republican delegates nominated their county 
ticket — John A. Baldridge for representative, A. W. Springer for treas- 


urer, Fletcher Freeman for sheriff, Seth Cushman for commissioner, and 
Charles Harnish for assessor. Mr. Springer refused the nomination, 
and Jesse Burton's name was substituted, without his consent, he claimed. 
These nominations were made behind- closed doors, a fact that gave 
excuse for many criticisms, and it was even suggested that the session 
might be a meeting of a lodge of the Knights of the Golden Circle. 

The political campaign of 1862 came to a close with the election 
in October. The Democrats elected the entire county ticket and an 
assessor in each township, and at the same time gave 1,200 majority for 
A'oorhees for Congress. Murray Briggs made significant the fact that 
if the soldiers had been at home, this majority would have increased to 
1,500, since it was notorious, said the editor, that two-thirds of the 
soldiers in the field were Democrats and that nearly all of those who 
returned supported Voorhees. 

An event that indicates the local opinion of the time, and may also 
be interpreted as of unusual significance in connection with later events, 
was a "citizens' meeting" in January, 1863, held at Antioch meeting 
house in Cass township. Thomas G. Neeley presided, and other officials 
named were John Bledsoe and Joshua Johnson, James B. Cochran and 
William R. Benton. David Usrey, Jesse Powell, William White and 
Jeplha Moss addressed the assemblage. 

The sentiment of Cass township Democracy on the great questions 
of the day was expressed in resolutions that "We, the Democracy of 
Cass and adjoining townships, in mass convention assembled, accept the 
late elections as judgment of the ripe intellectual manhood of the country, 
in which this corrupt and tyrannical administration has been arraigned 
and by a just and righteous criticism condemned: for, among other 
things, precipitating this country in an unnecessary, unholy and ruinous 
civil war — for the many palpable and wicked violations of the constitu- 



tion and its most sacred guarantees, in total disregard of the rights of 
personal liberty and private property — in its tyranny over our own race 
and foolish regard for a servile one — an audacious trampling upon the 
rights of our own citizens, with a humiliating crouching to every foreign 

Then the convention demanded that the expressions of the people 
through the ballot-box should be regarded, that no money should be 
expended for war except to restore the Llnion ; demanded peace without 
reference to its effect upon the African ; an inquiry into the financial 
conduct of state offices ; that since war is the result of New England 
fanaticism, "when we have exhausted every reasonable effort for the 
restoration of the LTnion as it was, should New England still stand in the 
breach, we, as western men, will consult western interests and western 
pride, which alike forbid that the great Mississippi valley should be 
divided, and thereby rendered tributary to a ruinous system of Yankee 
intolerance, cupidity and class legislation. . . . No, the great Mis- 
sissippi valley now and forever one and inseparable. Then we will cheer- 
fully say to New England, with all her cupidity, with all her meanness, 
fanaticism, follies and moral turpitude, we bid you good-bye, remember- 
ing you only for the wrongs you have done us." 

Further, the resolutions condemned the efforts to abridge the rights 
of free speech ; expressed unbounded confidence in the courage of the 
volunteers, no confidence in the president or his advisers ; in favor only 
of gold and silver currency ; believed that the adoption of the Crittenden 
Compromise (at the time it was offered) would have saved the country. 

It was soon after this convention that two Republican citizens of 
Cass township received anonymous notices to leave. It was alleged 
that these notices were sent by Republicans for the purpose of attaching 
odium to Democratic neighbors. 


But the bitterness of politics and war had begun to affect even the 
cahnest minds. In an editorial of ^larch 19, 1863. ]\Iurray Briggs said: 
"A most significant fact illustrative of the state of feeling throughout 
the country is that authorities have forbidden the sale of firearms and 
ammunition. The next step will be to take from the people those they 
already have. If this is attempted, lookout for bloodshed." 

W'hile the weight of public opinion in the county was favorable to 
the Union and its preservation, the cause of abolition was never popular. 
In 1862 it appears that some abolitionists had dared to preach their 
doctrines in Fairbanks township. Their action brought out the following 
notice, published in the Democrat: ' 

Fairbanks. Dec. 2j. 1862. 
Notice to Abolition preachers: 

We, the undersigned citizens of school district Xo. 5. Fairbanks 
township, would most respectfully give notice to the above-named 
gentry that we can and will get along without anv more of their 
abolition harangues — such as were delivered in our school room on 
Sunday night, Dec. 21st, by a certain Mr. Heath. It was not built 
for that .purpose, and it sJiall not be used for such a purpose again. 
We are willing and anxious for the gospel to be preached in it by 
any minister of the gospel, b\it ice don't icaiit OJiy more abolition 
lectures by any minister. 

D. Crawley, Trustee. L. Fordvce, Director. 
A\'. H. Griffin, O. T. Martin, Benj. Earnest. 

In the summer of 1863 there were picnics, political speeches, and 
some campaigning on the part of the Democrats of the county. A picnic 
at Fairbanks the first of August, 1863, was largely attended. Ed Price, 


of Sullivan, presided. The principal speech was by Bayless \\\ Hanna, 
of Terre Haute, considered in his time one of the orators of the state 
senate, and who was elected attorney general of Indiana in 1870. On 
this occasion he discussed the conduct of the war and the arbitrary acts 
and peculations of the government. Other speakers were Colonel Cook- 
erly, editor of the Journal at Terre Haute, and S. G. Burton. A flag 
was presented to the Fairbanks Constitutional Guards on behalf of the 
ladies of the township, by Miss Amanda J. DeBaun, and received by 
Lieut. William Fordyce. Then there was dancing, and the air frequently 
resounded with cheers for Yoorhees, Vallandingham, the county ticket, etc. 

A few days after this picnic at Fairbanks "a Democratic basket 
meeting'' at the county seat was an occasion for a large assemblage, 
despite the threatening weather. James M. Hanna as presiding ofificer 
declared the adoption of some resolutions that indicate the progress of 
sentiment and the war. zA.fter reaffirming a devotion to the constitution 
and the Union, the resolutions condemned Lincoln for attempting by 
force to sustain himself in power, although elected only by a third of the 
people, and for avowing that the great battles are fought to "place all 
men, without regard to race, upon an equality" ; condemning also the 
conscription act and approving the course of Yoorhees in voting against 
such odious and tyrannical laws. Yoorhees himself was present and 
spoke for an hour. 

It was about this time that the alleged quotation from a Yoorhees 
speech in which he characterized the L^nion soldiers as ''Lincoln dogs" 
became current through the country. Editor Briggs, in his issue of 
September 17, 1863, declared that this report was "an infernal lie," but 
that Republican newspapers had passed it around all over the country. 
No report of the speech at Sullivan in which Mr. Yoorhees was alleged 
to have used the offensive language is given. Though the specific utter- 


ance can not be traced to j\Ir. \'oorhees as author, a speech that he made 
at Sulhvan about this time did arouse much bitter feehng among Union 
men, the memory of which exists to this day. 

The election of October 13. 1863, involved only a few county officers, 
and the Democratic ticket was the only one in the field. In the spring 
election (April, 1864) for township officials, the ''abs," as they were 
called, tried to steal a march on the regular Democrats by waiting till 
afternoon to present their tickets. A light vote was polled, but the 
Democrats carried all the offices except in Gill township. 

The campaign of 1864 opened early, at the Republican convention 
of February 25, 1864. Prominent members of the party and citizens of 
the county took part in the deliberations. A. \V. Springer presided, with 
Dr. J. J. Thompson and Prof. Hall as assistants, and John T. Gunn and 
John \V. Canary as secretaries. James W. Hinkle, William H. Crowder 
and T. P. Emison reported resolutions declaring it to be the duty of all 
loyal Americans to unconditionally support the government in a vigorous 
prosecution of the war, condenming all parties who either for political 
partisan purposes or in sympathy with the enemies of the countrv 
embarrass the government ; also recommending a thorough organization 
of townships for the approaching political campaign. The Stars and 
Stripes, that had been published during the first year or so of the war 
by John W. Osborn, had by this time discontinued, and one of the acts 
of this convention was the appointing of a committee to investigate the 
practicability of publishing an unconditional Union paper. The com- 
mittee consisted of Lieut. Col. F. L. Neff, Dr. John AI. Hinkle, T. 
Kearns, Dr. Duval, Dr. Buskirk. R. A. Bland, T. Burton, S. Myers, R. 
McClung, D. Baldridge, Lieut. Edward Maxwell and J. W. Hinkle. 

The Democratic convention met about the first of June, with IMichael 
Alalott as chairman. Xo set of principles adopted or concurred in by 


this convention was reported, though the course of Mr. \'oorhees in 
Congress was strongly approved. On the i8th of September a McClellan 
Club was organized, based on these general principles : Equal and exact 
justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; 
peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations and entangling 
alliances with none ; support of state governments in all their rights as 
the most competent administrators of our domestic concerns ; preserva- 
tion of the general government in its whole constitutional vigor; jealous 
care of the right of election by the people ; absolute acquiescence in the 
will of the majority ; w'ell disciplined militia ; and supremacy of civil over 
military authority. 

A camp meeting planned by the Democrats to take place in Jefferson 
township on August 19 was interfered with by heavy continuous rain, 
but on the following day part of the program was carried out, with 
Voorhees, Captain Puckett, of Clay county. Captain \'an Fossen, and 
others, as speakers. While detained in Sullivan by the rain, Voorhees 
addressed the voters and arraigned the abolition party for their corrup- 
tion, extravagance and usurpations, and denounced their impudence in 
demanding to know of the Democrats what plan they would follow in 
restoring the Union, after the Republicans had made such a miserable 
failure of their attempt. 

Naturally, the editor of the Democrat speaks slightingly of the 
Republican activities during the campaign. On September 29, 1864, he 
reports that "Governor Wright 'spoke his piece' last Thursday" (Sep- 
tember 22(1), as also Dave Gooding, a renegade Democrat from Hancock 
county, and Colonel Washburn, their candidate for Congress. "The fact 
that the committee had advertised largely and arranged for meeting in 
the grove near town made apparent the smallness of the crowd. We 
have heard no one put the crowd on the grounds at more than 700. 


Colonel Jaquess made a very low-flung, abusive speech in this town last 
Friday (September 30th). having much to say of Jeff Davis/' 

The great presidential election of 1864 (in October) passed off 
quietly in Sullivan county. A light vote was cast, except in Hamilton 
township, where AlcClellan received 448 to Lincoln's 206. It was claimed 
that the Democratic soldiers were not allowed furloughs to come home 
and vote as were the Republicans in the ranks. But that mattered little 
so far as Sullivan county was concerned, since it continued to remain 
overwhelmingly Democratic. The vote for the principal state and county 
officers was as follows : 

Governor — MacDonald, 2.187: Morton. 754. 

Congressman — \'oorhees. 2,181 ; Washburn. 750. 

Circuit Judge — Eckels. 2.183: Brown. 751. 

Prosecuting Attorney — Alalott. 2,175; ^lulkey. 749. 

Common Pleas Judge — Patterson, 2,187; ^Maxwell. 749. 

Dist. Prosecuting Att'y — John T. Scott. 2.186: Boudinot, 750. 

State Senator — B. W. Hamia. 2,185; ^"^- B. Crane. 750. 

Representative — S. G. Burton. 2.135; X. G. Buff'. 747. 

Sheriff' — Alex Snow, 2.184: William Purcell, 745. 

Treasurer — John Giles, 2,181 ; T. B. Silvers, 742. 

Coroner — B. B. Xeal, 2,186; Loudermilk, 742. 

Surveyor — X'^. Thomas. 2.184: McBride, 743. 

Commissioner — I. \\'. Allen. 2,149; J. W. Hinkle. 749. 
The economic aspects of the war were not less interesting and impor- 
tant than the political. Only those who lived through the conditions of 
the time can fully appreciate the stinting and deprivations that were 
imposed on the people. On the 3d of February, 1862, when the war 
had been in progress less than a year, at a sale of lands held for delin- 
quent taxes, the real estate of probably two hundred citizens was put 


up for sale to satisfy the taxes. The editor of the Dcuiucnit estimated 
that more than half of these persons allowed themselves to he returned 
delinquent from sheer inability to raise the money. "There is no actual 
suffering- among our farmers, but it would astonish manv to learn of 
the retrenchment that characterizes the household economy of the farmers 
of this county ; how they use rye coffee, sassafras tea, dispense entirely 
with sugar, etc." On another page of this same issue is printed a notice 
of the intention of the county commissioners to enforce the old law allow- 
ing the treasurer to levy on and sell personal property for taxes. 

At a meeting of the citizens of Cass township in Center schoolhouse 
(December 8, 1862) resolutions were adopted declaring that in view of 
the high prices put upon goods by eastern manufacturers and speculators 
and the low prices brought by farm produce, that they would refuse to 
sell except when adequate price was paid, and that the}' could in large 
measure do without the manufactured goods of the east. They called 
upon other citizens of other townships to co-operate with them in this 
movement to resist the artificial and speculative business movements 
of the east. A humorous comment on this attempt appeared in the 
Louisville Journal, being quoted by the Democrat. "We suppose the 
women of Cass township," concludes the Louisville editor, "are expected 
to substitute tacks for pins, thorns for needles, barrel hoops for steel 
ones, and that the men. dispensing with buttons, mean to fasten up their 
breeches with tow strings." 

One result of the war was the interruption of traffic between the 
north and the south. The commodity of all others which was needed by 
the north, and which the blockade of the rivers and the seaports pre- 
vented the north from getting, was cotton. The lack of this staple caused 
the people of Sullivan county to resort to a branch of agriculture which 

had long been in disuse, practically since pioneer days. As elsewhere 
Vol. 1—7 


stated, cotton was raised on a few farms by the pioneers, but its cultivation 
had been unknown for many years. In view of this fact, the following 
notice in the Democrat of April 24, 1862, is interesting: 

]\Ir. Briggs — Sir: You may say that I have a sack of cotton 
seed on hand for distribution among the farmers of this county. 
All information necessary as to mode of culture will be furnished 
by calling at the railroad office. James Kellev. 

The same man advertised that he had flax seed to loan to farmers. 
These seeds were also distributed among northern farmers by the gov- 
ernment, the object being to ofifset the loss of southern production by 
grownng these crops in the soil of the northern states that were adapted 
to such crops. 

In the first months of the war the patriotism natural to every people 
and to Americans in particular had swept large numbers into the enlisted 
ranks. The enthusiasm of military preparation, the display and pomp 
of marching soldiers, and the fascination that war always exercises over 
men, were strong influences at the beginning of the war, but when the 
reality of military life was brought home, when death and disease and 
hardships at the front advanced into prominence and the glories of 
war receded, there was a subsidence of enthusiasm, and instead there 
arose the sense of duty and grim determination, which were the principal 
factors that brought about the final triumph of the north. 

As already noted, there was a strong feeling opposed to the war, 
not only in Sullivan county, but throughout the state. One of the 
immediate causes of the war was the election of a Republican president 
in the fall of i860. Admittedly, this had been accomplished by the 
division of the Democratic party, the factions of which, altogether, cast 
a larger popular vote than that received by Abraham Lincoln. For this 


reason, the war was considered a Republican party measure, and conse- 
quently not representative of the majority of the pef)ple. 

Then, also, there were two issues that arose at the beginning of 
the war — the right of states to secede from the Union, and the abolition 
of slavery through federal power. In Sullivan county secession was 
regarded as a deplorable evil, one that should be avoided by every 
possible means, though perhaps the majority were in favor of almost 
unlimited concessions to the south rather than a resort to the coercion 
of arms. It was believed by many that rather than plunge the country 
into civil war, it was better to allow the southern states to withdraw. 
But the abolition of slavery did not make a popular appeal to Sullivan 
county people. It was not popular in many parts of the west, and par- 
ticularly in all the border states. This was illustrated during the early 
months of the war, when the untactful order of General Fremont, as 
commander of the Department of the West, freeing the slaves in Mis- 
souri, caused a quick reaction of sympathy for the southern cause, so 
that the order was quickly annulled by President Lincoln. 

Before proceeding to note some of the incidents and manifestations 
of this condition of sentiment regarding the war in Sullivan county, a 
quotation from W. H. Smith's "History of Indiana" will give a general 
view of the subject in the state at large. He says: 

"Perhaps there was not a northern state which held so many 
persons who sympathized with the south, as did Indiana. At least 
two causes existed for this. A large portion of the people of 
Indiana, at that time, were either directly from the south, or were 
descendants of those who immigrated from some one of the south- 
ern states. Also, much of the trade of the people had always been 
with the south, the Ohio river furnishing an outlet for the surplus 
product of the Indiana farms and factories. This sympathy broke 
out almost as soon as the war came, but for awhile it was smothered 
under the tide of patriotism which swept over the state, but as soon 



as that gave opportunity, the smoldering fires of opposition broke 
out. When the order of the Sons of Liberty [or Knights of the 
Golden Circle] was first instituted in Indiana, is not definitely known, 
but it is known to have been in existence as early as November, 
1861. It was not strong in numbers then, but as the war was pro- 
longed, and the burdens on the people became more oppressive, its 
membership grew, until early in 1864 it counted forty-five thousand 
or more members capable of bearing arms. 

"It is just to say that not every one who became enrolled as a 
member endorsed the treasonable plans. They had joined it from one 
motive or another, but wdien they found what its real aims were, 
they ceased attending the meetings or taking any part with it, but 
they did not expose it. During the years 1862, 1863 and 1864 
numerous outrages were perpetrated, in different parts of the state, 
on the persons or property of men known to be active adherents 
of the Union. Enrolling and draft officers w^ere assaulted, and in 
some cases killed. Early in 1864 Governor Morton became fully 
advised of the existence of the order, its strength and its objects. It 
had become so bold then as to be in correspondence with southern 
commanders, and arranging for invasions of the state. Hitherto it 
had confined itself to resisting the draft, encouraging desertions and 
concealing deserters, and committing outrages on Union men, but it 
had grown strong enough to enter into more active assistance of 
the south. An invasion of the state was arranged for, when the 
members of the order were to rise and overthrow the state govern- 
ment, release the prisoners confined in Camp Morton, and then 
march to Kentucky to take possession of that state. 

"As has been said, Governor Morton became advised of the 
existence of the order and its purposes. He had also received 
information that 30,000 revolvers had been bought and paid for, 
in New York, to be shipped to this state. They were marked 
'Sunday school books.' Thirty-two boxes so marked were found, 
and contained 400 revolvers, with 135,000 rounds of ammunition. 
Harrison H. Dodd, of Indianapolis, Horace Heft'ren. of Salem. 
Andrew Humphreys, of Greene county, Lamdin P. Milligan, of 
Huntington, William A. Bowles, of Orange county, Stephen Horsey, 
of Martin county, and one or two others were arrested and confined 
in the military prison at Indianapolis. Heffren and one or two 


others were released without trial ; Dock! escaped from prison and 
fled to Canada, while his trial was progressing.. The others were 
tried before a military commission appointed by the president. 
Bowles, Milligan and Horsey were condemned to death, and 
Humphreys was released on an order to confine himself during the 
continuance of the war to his own county. The three condemned 
men received from President Johnson a commutation of their 
sentence to life imprisonment in the Ohio penitentiary. After the 
close of the war they applied for a writ of habeas corpus, and after 
a lengthy hearing, by the supreme court of the United States, were 
released. Idic arrest of these men, and the rapid successes of the 
Union armies, effectually put a stop to all further direct opposition 
to the government, but there was still a strong undercurrent of 
opposition existing. After the close of the war a number of suits 
were brought against army officers, who had taken part in the 
arrest and trial of those charged with opposing the government, 
but they all came to naught." 

In applying this description to Sullivan county it will be necessary 
to consider one or two factors in the situation, which are not mentioned 
by Mr. Smithy but which are in fact offsets to the charge of disloyalty, 
in this county at least. 

In the first place, the acts of lawlessness cannot be charged to any 
political party, nor to the element opposed to the continuance of the 
war, nor even to the disloyal order above mentioned. There can be no 
doubt that the divided state of opinion with regard to the war produced 
conditions in which such acts were more easily committed and more 
easily escaped of sure punishment. But so far as the testimony shows, 
the lawdessness in Sullivan county may be traced to the viciousness 
which, in civil peace, is suppressed, but in war rises to the surface of 
society. There were outlaws in Sullivan county during the war. and 
for the accomplishment of their purposes and to cloak their crimes they 
professed afifiliation without regard for principles. The cause of law 


and order was supported by citizens generally in the county, irrespective 
of their political affiliation or attitude toward the war. 

Without condoning the treasonable designs of the Knights of the 
Golden Circle, so far as they were directed to the invasion of Indiana 
by southern troops, it must be said as a matter of justice that the secret 
nature of the order, which was considered so offensive, was also char- 
acteristic of the Loyal League organizations which existed in the county 
and state. Both orders were conducted in a manner to do more harm 
than good to the causes they represented, and they served to increase 
the alarm and feeling of insecurity in the county. 

The drafting of men for military service was the most unpleasant 
feature of the war, and it resulted in disturbances in every state of the 
Union. In Sullivan county the draft, the arrest of deserters, the out- 
breaks of lawlessness, resulted in a number of incidents which belong 
to the history of the period, and which are more important features of 
Sullivan county during the war than the operations of the armies on the 
battlefields of the south. 

September i, 1862, was the first day for the draft commissioners 
to examine those claiming exemption from draft. The Democrat says 
that the day was characterized by the most disgraceful scenes that ever 
occurred in this town. Probably one thousand people were in town. 
Not being a "public day," the saloons were open, and riotous conditions 
prevailed. A man named Hammond beat an old man seventy years old, 
and this engendered a number of fights. Sheriff jNIcCammon was unable 
to quell the disturbance, and was himself very roughly handled. 

The results of the enrollment of the county military showed that 
the county had, by September, 1862, furnished 1,098 volunteers to the 
war. At the same time the militia of the county (that is. men under 


forty-five who were liable for military duty ) numbered 2.276, the exemp- 
tions reducing- this number to about 1,760. 

The men appointed in Sullivan county for the task of enrolling 
and drafting were: William Wilson, draft commissioner; W. D. j\Ioore, 
provost marshal; John AI. Hinkle, surgeon; and a deputy for each town- 
ship — Fletcher J^"reeman for Cass, Lafayette Stewart for Hamilton, Mr. 
Watson for Jefferson, J. Davis for Haddon, J. W. Reed for Fairbanks, 
Robert Carrithers for Turman, G. H. 0'l'.0}le for Cill, James T. Spencer 
for Curry, and W. N. Patton for Jackson. 

The first draft was made in the early days of October, and passed 
off without special incident. Blindfolded, F. Easier drew lots from the 
militia list for the required number to fill the quotas. But six men were 
drafted, four from Cass and two from Jefferson township, the other 
townships filling their quotas without recourse to this method. 

It was not until 1863 that the unrest and opposition to the war began 
to result in serious disturbance. The principal events growing out of 
these causes, so far as recorded in the files of the Democrat, will be given. 

The arrest of Daniel Case, in March, 1863, on charge of desertion 
from the Ninety-seventh Regiment, at his home in Cass township, caused 
criticism of certain men in that township on the charge that they were 
aiding deserters. This incident had a partisan political aspect. At a 
meeting of citizens, the resolutions passed declared that the Democratic 
party did not wish to encourage desertion ( as evidently had been charged ) 
and would not protect any deserter nor interfere with his arrest by the 
proper authority. It was reported that 500 people attended the meeting. 
Andrew Humphreys, of Greene county, made a speech characterized by 
calmness and moderation in discussing the attitude of citizens toward 
the government and the war. 

In a few days (April 10) the county was aroused by the arrest 


of nine citizens residing about the nortlieast corner of the county. The 
arrest followed an indictment by the grand jury of the United States 
district court of Indiana on the charge of conspiracy. A deserter had 
testified that these men belonged to an organization, one of whose objects 
was to prevent arrest of deserters and aid them if arrested. The indicted 
men were taken to Indianapolis and released on bail. A few days before 
this occurrence James Herriford. ^like Evans and Fletcher Freeman had 
been arrested on charge of desertion. Some irregularity in their dis- 
charge papers was the cause of the arrest. 

The general distrust that prevailed in the countv is shown in the 
arrest, in April, of Nelson Osborn. who. having returned to Sullivan 
after an absence of two or three years, was supposed to be a spv from 
the Confederacy. Fle was of a somewhat roving disposition, and his 
return at this time was regarded with suspicion of secret motives that 
would never have occurred to anyone in times of peace. After being held 
about a month. C)sborn was released, nothing having been found to con- 
firm the charge. 

Some deserters found refuge in Sullivan county. Also some crim- 
inals from civil justice kept their haunts about the county during the 
war. At various times parties of soldiers were dispatched to the county 
for the purpose of arresting deserters, to preserve order, and to guard 
against infractions of military discipline. ( )ccasionally the soldiers con- 
ducted themselves with the insolence and license that often characterized 
detached squads when not directly under the restraint of strict discipline. 
In nearly every case the enforcement of a military order in the county 
was accompanied by disturbance of the civil comnnmity and left wounds 
and bitterness that many years failed to entirely heal. 

An aft'air occurred in Cass township that illustrates this point. 
About the first of June. 1863. reports reached .Sullivan that the brothers 


of a deserter named Bennett had shot two solcHers sent to arrest him, 
but later reports showed tliat tlie brothers had only threatened to shoot 
and that the soldiers had desisted from their object. A few davs later 
a party of sixty soldiers were sent down, presumably for the purpose of 
arresting- Bennett. Instead, they conducted a search throu.qh Cass town- 
ship and parts of Greene count}' for United States arms. The intrusion 
produced a great commotion in the eastern part of the count}'. Xo doubt 
the actions of a searching party, however decorously conducted, would 
have aroused resentment, but the soldiers were charged with several acts 
that apparently went beyond the warrant of their duty. Some provisions 
■were taken, it was said, a horse was impressed for the use of a sick 
soldier. Houses along the route were searched for arms. Horses were 
picked up along the road and taken with the company. As Joseph Pigg 
passed by the spot where the troops were encamped for the night, he was 
stopped, but was allowed to proceed when he explained he was on an 
errand for a sick child. Galloping on, he was shot at by another sentry 
because he did not halt at once. This brought the people together in an 
excited assemblage to defend their rights. A deputation was sent to the 
camp, and at their demands the stolen horse was returned with apologies. 
The Democrat editor stated that the consensus of opinion in Cass was 
that wdien troops who conducted themselves properly were sent for 
deserters, the aid of the citizens would be afforded the troops, since the 
presence of prowlers from the army was not desired. 

Another incident, illustrative of certain political bitternesses that 
sometimes became acute and cankered the relations of an entire com- 
munity, was described in the Democrat of June 11, 1863, under the title 
of "Disgraceful Afifair." "At a largely attended funeral at the Little 
Flock meeting house last Sunday, as the body was being lowered into 
the grave a woman named Jewell seized the opportunity to snatch a 


bnttermit ornament fr(Mn a yonng man named Rurch. A big strapping 
fellow immediately commenced an attack on a boy who wore a similar 
badge oi his Democracy. We are mortified to say that a regular fist 
fight ensned. One of the champions of the ring handed the woman who 
had so unsexed herself a dollar as reward for her conduct." Other 
occurrences of this nature were not infrequent. 

From the facts that have been observed concerning the state of 
feeling in Sullivan county, the causes that produced the most tragic event 
in the county during war times are readily understood. The death of 
Fletcher Freeman will always be associated with the political discord 
and the opposition to the war and draft that marked this period in 
Sullivan county. 

Fletcher Freeman, as above noted, was deputy enrolling officer for 
Cass township. On the morning of June i8, 1863, he was shot from 
ambush and killed, though at that time he was not actively engaged 
in duties pertaining to his military office. He had started for a rendezvous 
of road hands, a summons having been issued for the working of the 
roads in that particular district. Meeting two men, Shaw and Rusher, 
who were bound on similar business, he sent them back to his house 
for tools. They had retraced their steps by a short distance when they 
heard the report of a gun. One of them, having been in the army, 
recognized the cries as those of a man who had been shot. Hurrying 
back, they found Mr. Freeman lying in the road, in the agonies of death. 
A brief examination of the surroundings showed that a blind of branches 
and brush had been built near the roadside about twenty or twenty-five 
feet to the side. Scraps of meat and bread and piles of whittlings indi- 
cated that the place had been occupied by perhaps three persons for one 
or two weeks. There was no clue to the murderers. ^Nlr. Freeman had 
seveial years before been proprietor of the American Hotel at Sullivan, 


and was a former Republican nominee for tiie office of sheriff. He had 
assisted in raising- the Thirteenth Rattery of hght artillery, and expected 
to be commissioned an officer. He was declared unfit for dutv and was 
honorably discharged. One of the men who had Ijeen induced to enlist 
by Mr. Freeman deserted, and because compelled to remain in the service, 
he threatened to shoot Freeman, who had escaped duty. This was a 
possible cause of the assassination, but whether it was a case of individual 
malice or was in part the result of the prejudice existing against the draft 
act and all agents connected with carrying it out, was never determined. 
Several threatening letters had been sent because of his work as enrolling 

On the Saturday following the tragedy a hastily called meeting was 
held in the court house. James W. Hinkle was chairman, A. A'an 
Fossen secretary. Those participating in the proceedings on this occasion 
indicated the general condemnation passed upon the (.\ii(;i\ by all the 
representative class of citizens. Addresses were made by James C. 
Allen, a member of Congress from Illinois, and Willis G. Neff. The 
committee on resolutions were H. K. Wilson, George Parks. William 
Stansil, Daniel Herbert, Joseph W. Wolfe, IMurray Briggs and John 
T. Gunn. The resolutions as adopted say Mr. Freeman was shot in con- 
sequence, "as we have every reason to believe, of the recent faithful 
discharge by him of the duties of em-olling officer under the conscript 
act." The committee urged the necessity of appealing only to the ballot 
box and the courts for relief from the burdens entailed by the acts of 
war ; that the duty of every law-abiding citizen was to endeavor to dis- 
cover and aid officers of justice in arresting the perpetrators of this 

^Mention has been made of the formation of companies of home 
guards in different parts of the state, many of which were secretly 


termed to offset the seeret organizations of the Sons of Liberty. Little 
can be said of the home guards beyond the fact of their existence and 
their formation (hn-ing the summer of 1863. The Graysville Guards 
was the first, the officers of which were R. H. Crowdcr, captain ; Addison 
]\IcKee, 1st Heutenant ; Sherrod Burton, 2d heutenant. This company 
was mustered in as part of the Indiana Legion, and was suppHed with 
arms b\' the state. In September the Graysville company had the mis- 
fortune to lose several musket.s, stolen, perhaps, by their enemies. In 
endeavoring to arrest the guilty parties an encounter followed in which 
some shots were exchanged, but no one was injured, nor were the guns 

In the issue of August 31, 1863, the Democrat says: "We have 
heard for several months that an organization of Loyal Leaguers was 
formed in Sullivan. Such has been kept very secret. General Wilcox 
having issued an order against such societies, it was changed to 'Union 
Riflemen,' a company of the Legion. The success of the Graysville 
company in securing arms last week raised the spirits of the men. and 
they met at the court house to elect officers. Jesse Burton of Graysville 
presided. Sewell Coulson explained the purpose of the meeting and 
the necessity of militia. Indiana had allowed the militia system to fall 
into disuse ; he dwelt at length on the fact that the Legion would not be 
required to leave the state."" The officers of the Sullivan company were 
Captain Walls, Stewart Barnes, ist lieutenant; Rev. Taggart, 2d lieu- 
tenant. A little later a similar company was formed at Merom. under 
Captain B. F. Stover and another at Carlisle under Captain David 

To supply comforts for the wounded soldiers in the hospitals of 
the south, and to aid the families of enlisted men who, while in the 
army, were unable to properly support those dependent upon them at 


home, a practical charity was necessary which, in thoroughness, has not 
been duphcatcd since the war. Organized charity, in the modern sense 
of the term, was unknown forty }ears ago, and in consequence the first 
efforts were largely individual donations and private relief. I'ut as the 
war continued and the needs became more pressing, aid societies were 
formed, and the contributions were systematically directed to the points 
of greatest want. The Sanitary Commission was a national organization, 
with branches throughout the country, and the various local bodies, 
ladies' aid societies, etc., co-operated with this larger bodv. 

The women, and citizens generally, of the county began this form 
of charity in the first year of the war. It became necessary to relieve 
distress during the first winter after the beginning, of the war. The 
first great battles of the war in which many of Sullivan county's soldiers 
took part were those of the western campaign including Corinth in the 
spring of 1862. By this time the sanguinary character of the war was 
realized, and in anticipation of the struggle at Corinth, in April, 1862, 
a meeting was held at Sullivan to collect materials for the relief of the 
soldiers. Rolls of bandages, lint, half-worn shirts, muslin and money 
for the purchase of same to the amount of 150 yards, were collected, 
and forwarded to the field of war. 

Individual cases of want were relieved during the winter of 1862-63, 
but in the latter part of November, 1863, the first society was organized 
for this purpose. The organization took place in the court house, George 
Parks being made president and Daniel Lang.don secretary. x\ com- 
mittee of twelve were appointed to canvass the town and vicinity, taking 
subscriptions, and ascertaining what families were in need and reporting 
to the committee of distribution. The members of the latter committee 
were Murray Briggs, George Parks and James W. Brodie. The can- 
vassing committee were Tvlrs. F. D. Neff, Mrs. Dr. Thompson, Mrs. M. 


Aialott, Mrs. William Griffith, Miss Mattie Stark, Aliss C. M. Reed, 
J. H. Weir, J. II. Wilson, Matthew McCamnion, James \\\ Hinkle, \\'. 
G. Neff, William Griffith. . 

About the middle of December, 1863, the Democrat reports that the 
wood hauling demonstration was not a success owing to the rain and 
bad roads. However, enough was brought to relieve present necessities, 
and a liberal supply of beef, molasses, meal, apples, etc., was received. 

One of the incidents of the rebellion which occurred in Sullivan 
county was the accidental death of Professor Miles J. Fletcher, state 
superintendent of education. Early in May, 1862, Governor Morton 
and a party of friends were on their way to visit the battlefield of Corinth 
in anticipation of the great battle. Just above the Sullivan station their 
train ran into a box-car standing on a switch. At the noise of the 
collision, Professor Fletcher put his head out of the window, and was 
struck by the edge of the car and the top of his head lifted ofif. The 
dead man was cared for at Sullivan, and the governor's party then pro- 
ceeded on another train. The state of feeling at the time is well 
illustrated in the charges that were freely made then and for a long 
time afterward, that the car had been placed on the track to wreck the 
governor's train. The testimony at the coroner's investigation proved 
that Milton Belser, a young soldier of the Thirty-first Regiment, re- 
turning with a friend from making an evening call, had loosed the 
brakes and started the car "to get a ride." The car ran off the switch 
and on to the main track, and was not discovered before the governor's 
special came along. Belser was arrested near Evansville while on his 
way to the army, but the jury failed to find an indictment against him. 

The following is a list of the battles and campaigns participated in 
by the various regiments containing, soldiers from Sullivan county. 
Some of the enlisted men from this county were scattered through other 


regiments, only a few in each, but those named here were the principal 
regiments containing enlisted soldiers from this county. 

Seventeenth Regiment. 

Belle Plain road, Georgia, June, 1864. 

Chattahoochie River, Georgia, July 7, 1864. 

Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19-20, 1863. 

Coosaville, Georgia, October, 1863. 

Corinth, Mississippi (siege), April 11 to May 30, 1862. 

Ebenezer Church, Alabama, April i, 1865. 

Elkwater, Virginia, September 12-13, 1861. 

Farmington, Tennessee, October 7, 1863. 

Flat Rock, Georgia, October, 1862. 

Goshen, Georgia, October, 1864. 

Greenbrier, Virginia, October 3, 1861. 

Hoover's Gap, Tennessee, June 23-30, 1863. 

Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, June 27, 1864. 

Leesburgh, Georgia, August, 1864. 

Macon, Georgia, April 20, 1865. 

Marietta, Georgia, July 3, 1864. 

McMinnville, Tennessee, October 4, 1863. 

Munfordsville, Kentucky, September 14-16, 1862. 
, New Hope Church, Georgia, May 25, 1864. 
;, • Pumpkin Vine Church, Virginia, June, 1864. 

Rome, Georgia, May 17, 1864. 

Selma, Alabama, April 2, 1865. 
: Stone Mountain, Georgia, July, 1864. 

Thompson's Cove, Tennessee, October 3, 1863. 


Tz<.'Ciity-first Rci^^iniciif. 

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, August 5, 1862. 

Cornet Bridge. Louisiana, December, 1862. 

Des Allemands, Louisiana. September 8, 1862. 

Fort Gaines, Alabama. August 5-8, 1864. 

Fort Morgan, Alabama, August 5-13, 1864. 

Lafourche Crossing, Louisiana, June 21, 1863. 

^Mobile, Alabama (siege), ]\Iarch 2/ to April 11, 1865. 

P'ort Hudson, ^Mississippi (siege), ]\Iay 21 to July 8, 1863. 

Sabine Cross Roads, Louisiana, April 8, 1864. 

Spanish Fort, Alabama (siege), ]\Iarch 27 to April 19, 1865. 

Thirty-first Regiment. 

Atlanta, Georgia (siege), July 21 to September 2, 1864. 

Chickamauga, Georgia, September 19-20, 1863. 

Corinth, Mississippi (siege), April 11 to ]\Iay 30, 1862. 

Fort Donelson. Tennessee, February 13-16, 1862. 

Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864. 

Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, June 2y, 1864. 

Nashville, Tennessee, December 15-16, 1864. 

New Hope Church, Georgia, ]\Iay 25, 1864. 

Resaca, Georgia, Alay 15, 1864. 

Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6-7, 1862. 

Stone River, Tennessee, December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863. 

Forty-first Regiment of Cavalry. 

Corinth, ^Mississippi (siege), April 11 to ^^lay 30, 1862. 
Fair Garden, Tennessee, February 19, 1865. 


Gallatin, Tennessee. Aug.ust 21-27, 1862. 

Mc]\Jinnville, Tennessee, x\ugust 9, 1862. 

Newman, Georgia, Jnly 31, 1864. 

Pea Ridge, Tennessee, April 15, 1862. 

Perryville (or Chaplin Hills), Kentucky, October 8, 1862. 

Scottsville, Alabama, April 2, 1865. 

Talbott's Station, Tennessee, December 29, 1863. 

Triune, Tennessee, June 11, 1863. 

Tuscumbia, Alabama, ]\Iay 31, 1862. 

Varnell's Station, Georgia, ]\Iay 9, 1864. 

Vinegar Hill, Kentucky, September 22, 1862. 

West Point, Georgia. April 16, 1865. 

Forty-tJiird Regiment. 

Fort Pillow, Tennessee, June 5, 1862. 

Helena, Arkansas, July 4, 1863. 

Island No. 10, March 10 to April 7, 1862. 

Marks Mills, Arkansas, April 30, 1864. 

New Madrid, Missouri (siege), March 3-14, 1862. 

Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 1864. 

Prairie Leon, Arkansas, April 10, 1864. 

Red Alound, Arkansas, April 17, 1864. 

Terre Noir, Arkansas, April 2, 1864. 

Fifty-ninili Regiment. 

Champion Hills, Mississippi, May 16, 1863. 
Corinth, Mississippi (siege), April 11 to May 30, 1862. 
Corinth, ^Mississippi, October 3-4. 1862. 
Island No. 10. March 10 to April 7, 1862. 

Vol. 1—8 


Missionary Ridge, Georgia, November 25, 1863. 

New jMadrid. Missouri (siege), March 3-14, 1862. 
\'ick,sburg. Mississippi (siege). May 18 to July 4. 1863. 

Thirteenth Battery. 

Hartwell, Tennessee, December 7, 1862. 
Monterey, Kentucky, March, 1862. 
!Munfordsville, Kentucky, September 14-16, 1862. 
Versailles, Kentucky. October 5, 1862. 

Seiriity-firsf Regiment of Coz'olry. 

Cassville, Georgia, Alay 19, 1864. 

Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, June 2y, 1864. 

Knoxville, Tennessee, November 17 to December 4, 1863. 

Lost Mountain, Georgia, June 17, 1864. 

Muldraugh's Hill, Kentucky, August 28, 1862. 

Nashville. Tennessee, December 15-16, 1864. 

Pulaski, Tennessee, September 27, 1864. 

Richmond, Kentucky. August 29-30. 1862. 

Resaca, Georgia, May 15, 1864. 

Eiglity-tifth Regiment. 

Atlanta, Georgia (siege), July 21 to September 2, 1864. 

Averysboro. North Carolina. ]\Iarch 16, 1865. 

Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 1865. 

Cassville. Georgia, 'Slay 19. 1864. 

Gulp's Farm, Georgia, June 22, 1864. 

Dallas, Georgia, May 27, 1864. 

Golgotha Church, Georgia, June 15, 1864. 


Kenesaw Mountain, June 27, 1864. 

Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, July 20, 1864. 

Resaca, Georgia, May 15, 1864. 

Thompson's Station, Tennessee, March 5, 1863. 

Ninety-scventli Regiment. 

Atlanta, Georgia (siege), July 21 to September 2, 1864. 

Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19, 1865. 

Big Shanty, Georgia, June 14, 1864. 

Dallas, Georgia, May 2y, 1864. 

Graysville, Georgia, November 2y, 1862. 

Island No. 10, March 10 to April 7, 1862. 

Jonesboro, September i, 1864. 

New Hope Church, Georgia, May 25, 1864. 

Resaca, Georgia, May 15, 1864. 

One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment. 
Blue Springs, Tennessee, October 10, 1863. 

One Hundred and Tzventy-sixth Regiment of Cavalry. 

Franklin. Tennessee, November 30, 1864. 
Nashville, Tennessee, December 15-16, 1864. 
Pulaski, Tennessee, September 27, 1864. 

Sullivan county furnished a large quota, in proportion to population, 
for service in the Philippines following the Spanish-American war. On 
the return of some of these soldiers in 1901 a home-coming celebration 
was made the feature of the Independence day of that year, and it was 



notable for the presence of a great crowd in Sullivan and for the many 
evidences of niililary patriotism. The veterans of three wars were pres- 
ent, there being three Sullivan county survivors of the ^Mexican war — 
\\'illis Benefield, Joe Ingle and John Stanley. A list of the soldiers from 
this county who had enlisted for service in the Philippines, as prepared 
bv the committee on reception, contained the following names : 

x'Vndrews, Boyd, Carlisle. 
Austin, Alva E., Sullivan . 
Barcus, George, Hymera. 
Ba}s, Harold C, Sullivan. 
Bose, Frank, Jackson Hill. 
Boles, Benjamin, Sullivan. 
Buff, John, Merom. 
Bunch, John, Sullivan. 
Cook, Edward B., Hymera. 
Coyner, Earl, Merom. 
Cleveland, Herbert, Carlisle. 
Crynes, John, Jackson Hill. 
Day, Homer, Sullivan. 
Denny, Charles W., Sullivan. 
Dooley, Stephen J., Sullivan. 
Dorsey, Arthur, Sullivan. 
Ednionson, Stephen, Jackson Hill. 
Everhart, William S., Jackson Hill. 
Foster, \A'illiam E., Sullivan. 
Freeman, Benjamin N., Sullivan. 
Gardner, Fred, Sullivan. 
Groves, Charles, Merom. 

Haddon, Jesse, Dugger. 
Hammack, John, Sullivan. 
Hammond, Elmer, Sullivan. 
Hawhee, James H., Carlisle. 
Higbee, Ray, Sullivan. 
Johnson, Robert W., Sullivan. 
Keene, Samuel, Hymera. 
Kelly, Harry H., Sullivan. 
King, James A., Alerom. 
Kircheval, William, Farmersburg. 
Leach, Marshall, Sullivan. 
Lester, Arthur H., Merom. 
Lucas, Charles E., Sullivan. 
Luzader, Claude, Sullivan. 
McCamnion, Herbert, Paxton. 
McCloud, Fred, Sullivan. 
McCloud, John, Sullivan. 
McClure, John, Sullivan. 
McClure, Orlando, Sullivan. 
Morris, Bert, Merom. 
Neal, John J., Sullivan. 
Neal, Bert, Sullivan. 



Norton, Nelson, Sullivan. 
O'Haver, Arthur, Sullivan. 
Pinkston, Arthur, Merom. 
Purcell, John E., Paxton. 
Sanders, Earl, Hymera. 
Sankey, Jesse, Fairbanks. 
Shake, Norris, Carlisle. 
South, Levi, Sullivan. 
Spilkey, James F., Sullivan. 
Terwilliger, Louis A., Sullivan. 
Thompson, Frank H., Merom. 

VVible, John W., Merom. 
Wilson, Perry, Jackson Hill. 
West, Thomas E., Sullivan. 
Yeager, James E., Graysville. 
Young, Walter, Sullivan. 
Daniels, Will, Merom. 
Lee, George, Merom. 
Wilson, James, Carlisle. 
Jenkins, Lee, Carlisle. 
Rotramel, Charles, Carlisle. 
McGrew, Finley, Sullivan. 


The academies and select schools were the chief source of education 
for the children of this county until about forty years ago. The average 
public school was hardly worthy of the name, as compared with the 
modern system. There were no public funds available to support com- 
mon schools for more than a brief term, and the people learned only 
slowly to provide for schools by taxation. 

The first constitution of Indiana, adopted in 1816, provided for 
education. Yet in an early day the cause advanced slowly. There was 
no school law under the territorial government, nor any state law on 
common schools until 1S24. Nearly all the schoolhouses built both before 
and for some time after that date were erectefl by voluntary efforts of neigh- 
borhoods : and all schools were supported by agreements between teachers 
and patrons. The one definite provision for education made by the 
national government, in planning the disposition of the public domain. 
set aside section 16 in every congressional township for the maintenance 
of public schools. When Indiana became a state the care of these school 
sections was intrusted to the state government ; so that, while the other 
sections of the township were entered at the government land ofifice, 
this section 16 was disposed of by the state, and the proceeds turned 



over for the support of schools in that particular township. Hence was 
produced what is known as the congressional township school fund. 
There are fifteen townships and fractional tcjwnships in the area of 
Sullivan count}-, and the total amount realized from the sale of section 
16 in each was over $17,000. The largest amount realized from any 
one section was $3,403.25, for the section in town 6 north, range 10 west, 
in the southwest corner of the countv. Evidently many of the school 
sections proved of little value, while others sold for a high price, thus 
causing a wide divergence between the amounts derived from the various 
sections. In Indiana, since the proceeds of the school section were 
devoted to the benefit of the schools in the congressional township where 
the section was located, the inequity of the system proved one of the 
greatest weaknesses of the common school system during the first half 
of the century. One township would receive a disproportionately large 
income for the schools, while perhaps the one adjoining, because section 
16 had sold for only a few dollars, had no income for the support of 
schools except the local tax. 

In 1824 the general assembly passed an act to incorporate congres- 
sional townships and provide for public schools therein. The act pro- 
vided for the election in each township of three persons of the township 
to act as school trustees, to whom the control of the school lands and 
the schools generally was given ; and for the building of schoolhouses. 
Every able-bodied person in each school district who was over twenty- 
one years of age must work one day in each week, or else pay thirty- 
seven and one-half cents in lieu of a day's work, until the schoolhouse 
was built. Almost every session of the legislature witnessed some addi- 
tion to or modification of the school law. Provision was made for the 
appointment of school examiners, but the examinations might be private, 
and the examiners were quite irresponsible. Under such circumstances 


it could not be expected that competent teachers be employed. Often 
the most trivial questions were asked a teacher, and this was called an 
examination. In many instances there was no examination at all — the 
teacher was simply engaged to teach. 

A free school system was not provided for until after 1850. Each 
district had complete jurisdiction over its school affairs, deciding every 
question concerning the building of a schoolhouse and the regulation of 
local school affairs. The taxes for building the schoolhouse and for the 
support of the teacher were assessed by the authority of the district, and 
the amount of tuition to be assessed against each child attending school 
was fixed by the local board. There was no considerable state school fund 
until after 1837, so that the annual distribution of school money by the 
state had little effect on the individual schools. With local taxation kept 
down to the minimum amount by nearly all the counties, the school 
system of Indiana soon became a reproach to its free institutions. It 
was during this depressing period of educational backwardness that the 
word "Hoosier" became a term of derision, denoting the uncouth and 
ignorant countryman that the inhabitant of Indiana was supposed by most 
easterners to be. 

In 1840 one-seventh of the adult population of Indiana could not 
read nor write, and many of those who could were densely ignorant. 
While one out of seven was illiterate in Indiana, the proportion in Ohio 
was only one out of eighteen. Ohio raised $200,000 in 1845 for common 
schools, while Indiana had no means of raising such tax. In the matter 
of literacy, Indiana stood sixteenth among twenty-three states in 1840 ; 
in 1850 she was twenty-third among twenty-six states, "lower than all 
the slave states but three," as Caleb Mills expressed it. 

With such alarming statistics before them, the people of Indiana 
were soon awakened to their educational necessities, and as a result 


of the agitation the question of free schools was presented to the voters 
in concrete form in the general election of 1848, when the vote was taken 
on whether a law should be enacted "for raising by taxation an amount 
which, added to the present school funds, should be sufficient to support 
free common schools in all the districts of the state not less than three 
nor more than six months each year." At the election 78,523 votes were 
cast in the affirmative; 61,887 against it. But before the legislation which 
resulted from this election became effective a new constitution was 
adopted by the people, followed by the passage of the school law o'f 
June 14, 1852. This marked the passing of the district system of schools 
and the beginning of the era of actual free schools. It abolished the 
congressional township as limiting school organizations, and made the 
civil townships into school corporations. Cities and incorporated towns 
were made school corporations distinct from the townships in which 

For many years there was a lack of uniformity among the various 
townships in school affairs, resulting from the absence of anything like 
a central county supervision. It was not until 1873 that an important 
step was taken toward unity in school management, by the creation in 
that year of the office of county superintendent, a county board of edu- 
cation and of township institutes. 

Until 1837 the trustees of each congressional township had examined 
applicants for teaching positions. From 1837 to 1853 the circuit court 
appointed three persons as examiners ; this appointing power was trans- 
ferred to the county commissioners in 1853. In 1861 the number of 
examiners was reduced to one, with service term of three years. The 
first to hold the position after the law of 1861 was Murray Briggs, the 
editor of the Democrat, who held the office two terms, until 1867. He 
was succeeded by Charles R. Allen. In 1871 George W. Register became 


oxaniiiKT. and after tlie law of 1873 continued in office as the first county 
superintendent. Any account of the schools of Sullivan county ought 
to make acknowledomcnt of the work of ]\Ir. Register. His numerous 
reports in regartl to the schools visited, the work in the county as a whole 
and of eacli township, his records of county and township examinations, 
well written and timely articles on school buildings and grounds, on the 
relations of parents to the schools, on the necessity of more schools, 
longer terms, more efficient teachers, all show that he put far more time. 
energy and thought into his official work than could be paid for by the 
miserable pittance of $80 a year that constituted the wages of the school 

With the law of 1873 the county b<3ard of education was made to 
consist of the town>hip trustees, the presidents of the school boards of 
towns and cities, and the county superintendent. The county superin- 
tendent was elected b_\- the township trustees, for a term of two years, 
and the trustees and the superintendent have complete oversight of the 
schools of the county. By the same law the township institute became an 
effective instrvmient for securing unity in school work and raising the 
standards of the teaching body. 

The first regularly elected county superintendent after the passage 
of the law was James A. Marlow. elected by the county board in June, 
1875. He served sixteen years, and was followed by C. W . Welman, 
who served four years, .--ince which time, for fourteen _\ears. ]\Ir. Richard 
Park has been superintendent. In 1809 the term was lengthened to four 

In 1858 the total school population of the county was 5.414. In 
1861 this had increased to 5.836. and the total school fund distributed that 
year was $7,936.88. Aside from tuition and taxation, the amount avail- 
able for the education of each person of school age in the county at the 


beginning of the Civil war was about a dollar and a quarter. In 1866 
the enumeration was 6,303, and the fund $14,632.86. In 1870 the 
enumeration was 7,049, fund, $14,980.25. In 1880, enumeration, 7,349, 
fund, $15,790.82. 

The report of George W. Register in 1873 showed that the enumera- 
tion in the county for 1872-73 was 7.520. Of these there were enrolled 
in the schools 5.974, but the total attendance averaged only 3.472, being, 
about 46 percent of the enumeration. The average term of school then 
was 83 days. "'Can it be expected that the youth of our country will 
become educated if only 46 percent of them attend school 83 days 
in the year?" It was also shown that the average per capita cost of 
education per year in the state at large was $5.53, Sullivan county being 
below the average with an annual cost of $4.72. In the superintendent's 
report for 1873-74 the attendance was shown to have increased to 52 
percent of the enumeration, the average length of the school term being 
four months and ten days, and the average daily pay of teachers, $2.15. 

There was considerable rivalry among the township trustees over 
the length of the school term. In the Democrat for March 13, 1872, it 
was noted that James Spencer of Curry township claimed credit for 
running schools in his township longer than in any other, schools being 
maintained over six months and no teacher receiving less than two 
dollars a day. 

But select schools still supplemented the free schools, as proved by 
the following resolution adopted at the meeting of the county board of 
education in September, 1874: "In view of the fact that teachers who 
have taught private schools in the township houses have failed in almost 
everv instance at the close of their schools to make the reports required 
b\ law, be it resolved by this board that any teacher who has failed or 


mav hereafter fail to make the required reports shall forfeit his or her 
right to the use of the houses hereafter for private schools." 

The first aiuiual report of Superintendent ]\Iarlo\v. in 1876, states 
that there were 1 14 district schools in the county, and that while the 
school term was increasing, in many cases it was only four or five 
months long. Since 1873 the average wage of teachers had fallen from 
$2.1 s a dav to $2.11. He reported increased interest and attendance at 
the township institutes. The district schools, he said, were without any 
system or course of study. 'Tf one of our higher schools were conducted 
on this principle for a single term, it would be declared a nuisance and 
disbanded." The compensation of teachers in 1879 ranged from $1.50 
in Jackson township to $5.00 in Sullivan, for men. and from $1.48 in 
Jackson township to $2.25 in Merom for women. Cass township had 
school but 90 days, while the school ran 170 days in Carlisle, the average 
length in the townships being 116 days, and in the towns 140 days. 

In 1882 Superintendent Marlow submitted to the county board a 
scheme for the graduation of pupils from the district schools. A series 
of questions were to be submitted by the different teachers, and a general 
average of eighty was necessary for graduation. In ]\Iarch, 1886, 
occurred the first graduation from the district schools, w'hen the superin- 
tendent granted twenty-five diplomas. 

In 1887 there were 71 colored school children in the county. In 
the colored settlement near Carlisle a separate school was maintained 
for these children, and for a time it seemed that the school must disband 
because no competent teacher could be found, as the supply of colored 
teachers was very limited. The Carlisle school had about 25 or 30 
enrolled. After much difficulty a man was obtained to teach, but he 
was unable to secure a license. Then an old man who had taught some 
twenty-five years before was sought, but he had never had a license and 


could not pass the examination to get one. Finally John Bass of Carlisle 
was installed as teacher. 

In September. 1902, Trustee James Scott of Fairbanks township 
took the first step toward the consolidation of schools, when he closed 
two schoolhouses and conveyed the pupils of the districts to the school 
at Fairbanks. This was not "consolidation" in the legal sense of the 
term, it being possible to abandon a district without surrendering, its 
separate identity, which is the result when two or more individual dis- 
tricts become a consolidated district. The central school at Fairbanks 
is now used by five districts. 

At Graysville is one of the model rural schools of the consolidated 
type. Its manual training department has attracted wide attention from 
educators. The district schools about Graysville were abandoned from 
1904 to 1907, and two more in 1908. Eight wagons are used to convey 
the children from the distant parts of the consolidated district, care 
being taken in all consolidated schools that the children shall not be 
compelled to ride in the hacks longer than an hour and a half each way. 
The school building at Graysville was erected some five or six years 
ago. About 230 children are in attendance, and a three-year high school 
course is maintained both at Graysville and at Fairbanks. An article in 
the Democrat in March, 1906, stated that George Bicknell's school at 
Graysville had attracted the attention not only of the state superintendent 
of instruction but also of many other prominent educators. Toward 
the end of the first year's work, the hand-designed books, hand illu- 
minated texts and symphonies, the book-cases, table and stools, leather 
sofa pillows and other efforts of the children were brought in and a 
display made which astonished the community. A printing outfit is also 
in the equipment, and practical work done in both printing and binding. 

The Paxton consolidated school district comprises five original 


sin.c:le districts in Iladclon township, live wagons being employed to 
carrv the children. The schoolhouse at Paxton is a new four-room brick 
building. There are at this writing 130 pupils, 95 of whom are brought 
to school in the wagons. There is a one-year high school at Paxton. 

At Carlisle the town school is also attended by the children of 
adjacent districts in iladdon township. Three wagons convey 47 pupils 
to town. 

At New Lebanon is one of the largest consolidated rural schools. 
This is one of the most modern examples of school building in the county 
likewise. The front half of the schoolhouse is about ten years old, while 
the addition was erected about two years ago. It is a 12-room building, 
with good heating plant and modern equipments. Six districts were 
abandoned and merged with this central school, and seven wagons are 
used to carry the 133 children. The high school has seven teachers. 

In Jefferson township the pupils of one district (about 24) are 
carried to Pleasantville. and in Hamilton township the 14 or 15 pupils 
of the Creager school are taken to the Brodie school. 

Altogether, twenty-nine wagons are in service for the conveyance 
of school children. The county has six incorporated towns, each with 
its school system, while in the country outside are 99 individual schopls. 

The report of Superintendent of Schools Park for the year ending 
in ]\lay, 1908, showed the enumeration of school population for the 
county to be 0.4'^8. the townships showing a net loss of 157 and the towns 
a net gain of y^^- i'^*^ average daily attendance for the year was 6,969. 
The graduates from the district school were 188, not including the 
graduates from the eighth grade in the towns having, commissioned 
schools. The average length of the school year in the county was 147 
days, being 139 days in the townships and 160 in the towns. The total 
number of teachers employed in the county schools were 191, 24 of them 


being in the high schools. Of the schoolhouses in the county, 76 were 
brick and 49 frame buildings, all of which were valued at $319,000. The 
average daily wages of teachers in the county at large was $2.92, that 
for grade teachers being $2.87. 

In one of the monthly bulletins published by the state superintendent 
in 1908, the Mammoth school, four and a half miles northeast of Sulli- 
van, was declared "an ideal district school." The following description 
of the school is given : 

Last October and November the writer visited several rural 
schools. The best district school visited is located in Sullivan 
county, about four and one-half miles northeast of Sullivan. This 
school was visited late in October. The county and city superin- 
tendents, the township trustee, three rural school teachers and a 
minister visited the school at the same time. It is located in a mining 
district and there were fifty-seven children in the room. The 
building is a modern one-room structure, with two vestibules or 
cloak rooms and a basement for the furnace. The light in the room 
comes from the north side, which is taken up with windows reaching 
nearly to the ceiling. The lighting, heating and ventilation are as 
near perfect as they can be made. The building has been in use 
three years and is free from abuse. It looks entirely new. Every- 
thing was in neat order. The boards were well kept because the 
pupils take a pride in keeping them neat. The assignments on the 
board were neat and definite. The order was as good as anyone 
may ever want to see, because every child was busy at work all 
afternoon. The instruction was excellent, the work in reading being 
unusually strong. "Spinning a Top" was made the basis of the first 
year reading work. The children furnished the material for this 


reading- lesson. There was no estrangement between the teacher and 
pupils, hence they gave the most natural expression to their childish 
experience with the top. As the teacher wrote their stories on the 
board they realized that "language is the symbol of their actual 
experiences." The assignment in this lesson found its subject matter 
in the child's world, and as a result the expression was natural. The 
work in geography and spelling was of the same character. 

But best of all was the fine spirit of the school. Every child 
was happy and was doing his best. Every child seemed to realize 
that it was his school and that its success depended at least in part 
on him. And when they sang their closing song and started home 
their hearty good-night showed that they believed in the teacher. 
And what was the secret of it all? The teacher, to be sure. He is 
Sfenuine. He is in love with his work and he is not afraid to work. 
He lives in the community and knows the people. He is a great 
blessing, to the community, but he can not stay there. Not because 
he does not want to stay nor because the people do not want him to 
stay — but because there is a larger field of service for him. No 
wonder the trustee pays him $90.00 per month ! 

Those residents of Sullivan county whose memory goes back to 
the forties and fiftes recall a brick building that stood in Sullivan and 
was known everywhere as the County Seminary. It was the capstone 
of the public educational system of the time, since its range of useful- 
ness and benefit was larger than the state tmiversity because the majority 
of the counties in the state had such institutions. The funds accunuilated 
from the fines, forfeitures and delinquencies, which by an early state 
law were to be converted into a seminary fund, had reached about a 
thousand dollars in 1845, ^'^<^^ the county board then proceeded to erect 


a seminary building. The seminary was designed as an institution 
between the common schools and the university^ and located at the 
county seat was open to all pupils in the county. 

For seven or eight years the seminary maintained its place in the 
educational system of the county, ^^'ith the adoption of the constitution 
of 1851, the policy of keeping up county seminaries was abandoned; and 
the grounds, buildings and other property of the seminaries were ordered 
to be sold and the proceeds turned over to the common school fund. The 
people had become satisfied that it was impracticable to carrv on county 
high schools, and that all the energies of the state in relation to popular 
education should be concentrated in the support and improvement of the 
common schools. 

The first purchaser of the old seminary building failed to liquidate 
his purchase, and the building reverted to the county and continued to 
be used as a schoolhouse for a number of years. In 1856 L. Leroy Booth 
advertised that he would begin a select school in the seminary building at 
Sullivan on January 7th, teaching Latin, Greek, German and the higher 
branches of mathematics in connection with the common branches. The 
ground occupied by the seminary was sold to the Sullivan school board, 
and in turn sold, in 1872, to the Masonic lodge. 

For some time in the fifties the village of New Lebanon was the 
educational center of the county. This was largely on accoimt of the 
activities of Professor A. P. Allen, principal of the New Lebanon 
Academy, which had been founded in 1853 and was under the manage- 
ment of the Methodist church. The school was taught in the church 
building until the academy building was completed in 1855. The school 
flourished until shortlv before the war, and during its existence manv 
young people received training in branches that were above the grade 

of the average school of that day. There is the flavor of the older 
Vol. 1—9 


educational ideals in the following list of the branches then taught in 
the school — algebra, chemistry, composition and rhetoric, outlines of 
history, natural philosophy, natural theology, botany, trigonometry, logic, 
mental philosophy, moral science, surveying, astronomy, geolog}% ele- 
ments of criticism, mechanical philosophy, and history of English 
literature. Does a modern curriculum produce better men and women 
than this old-fashioned one did? 

An advertisement in the Democrat, December, 1855, states that the 
building of the Indiana Conference Male and Female Academy had just 
been completed, and names the teachers as follows : Professor A. P. 
Allen, assisted by Mrs. R. J. Allen, and Miss Mary Brock. Massom 
Ridgeway was president of the board of trustees. 

Union Christian College. 

In the Sullivan Democrat of September 20, 1856, is a card announc- 
ing that the Merom Bluff Academy, a new institution, will open October 
I St, with Mr. E. W. Humphreys as principal. He and his wife were the 
faculty, and the old court house building, abandoned on the removal of 
the county seat a dozen years before, and which stood on the site now 
occupied by the Merom town school, was the quarters of the academv. 
The academy was conducted with success for several years, until the 
proprietor, while on a trip abroad, conceived the plan of making a col- 
lege out of his school. 

A convention of delegates of the various conferences of the Christian 
church met, November 4, 1858, at Peru, Indiana, "to consider the interests 
of the Chirstian church in the west and the propriety of erecting an insti- 
tution of learning in the state of Indiana." The convention decided to 


"recommend the establishment of an institution of learning- in the state 
of Indiana, to be under the control of the Christian conferences in the 
state and vicinity." A committee was appointed to decide upon a loca- 
tion and to take all necessary steps to carry out the recommendations of 
the convention. The committee decided upon Merom as the location, 
and the name Union Christian College was adopted as the name of 
the new institution. 

The first sessions of the new college were held in the old court 
house, as the five-story brick building was not completed until 1862. 
Thomas Kearns, of Merom, was credited with the skill and executive 
ability which resulted in the successful construction of this building. 
N. Summerbell was the first president after Mr. Humphreys, and was 
succeeded by Thomas Holmes, and he by T. C. Smith. The last named 
resigned in 1882, and was succeeded by Rev. Elisha Mndge. 

In 1902 the college received $50,000 endowment, as a result of the 
will of Francis Asbury Palmer, formerly president of the National 
Broadway Bank, of New York City, who ofifered the college $30,000 
provided $20,000 was raised by other subscriptions. Dr. J. C. Jones, 
president of the college, worked with others vigorously to secure the 
funds. The death of Dr. Jones occurred in 1907, and he was succeeded 
by O. B. Whitaker, who is now president of the school. Union Christian 
College is an accredited normal school. Its average attendance is about 
125, the students for the most part living within a radius of forty or 
fifty miles of Merom. Recently there has been completed a handsome 
dormitory for the women residents of the school. The school is on a 
fairly prosperous basis, and its half century of active educational and 
moral influence has been felt in the lives of hundreds of men and women 
whose names are synonymous with civic and business integrity. 


Ascension ScJiiiiiary. 

To sav I hat Ascension Seminary is now but a memory is to miss 
the- fnier and real appreciation of the influence of an institution of this 
kind. The material existence of this school ceased nearly a third of a 
century ago. vet the hundreds who, if opportunity were ofl:'ered, would 
rise and protest their loyalty to the institution and their sense of gratitude 
for the benefits received within its walls would efi:'ectually prove the 
enduring character of its work. The old seminary still lives for the men 
and women who attended it, and with the passing of their generation, 
others will continue to inherit the good influences set in motion at an 
earlier period. 

It is claimed that the Ascension Seminary was the pioneer normal 

school of Indiana, and its work is said to have inspired the erection of 

the state normal school at Terre Haute. The origin of the school was 

described a few years ago by Alurray Briggs (Democrat. July 2. 1903). 

In 1861 Prof. William T. Crawford, then scarcely twenty years old, 

began teaching a common school at Farmersburg. The editor of the 

Doiiocrat was then superintendent of instruction for the county, and 

was so pleased bv the results exhibited during a visit to this school that 

he recommended all the teachers of the county to close their schools for 

one day and take an opportunity to visit the school at Farmersburg. 

Professor Crawford's services at once became more valuable as an 

instructor of teachers than in his former capacit}-. and the importunities 

of those who desired to place themselves under his instruction led him 

to open a small normal school in a building which in 1903 was a buggy 

shed. He also began the erection of a building of suitable dimensions 

for his proposed school, but when it was well under way he left it to 

raise a company and go to the front. On his return in 1865 he refitted 


the building, engaged an assistant in Prof. David Shoemaker, and for- 
mally opened the Ascension Seminary as a normal school for the training 
of teachers. By 1872 the school had outgrown its building, and Captain 
Crawford then arranged to consolidate his school with the high school 
of Sullivan, to which he was summoned as superintendent. From that 
time until 1876 he conducted this department as a normal institute in 
connection with the regular town schools. In the opinion of Mr. Briggs, 
the chief forte of Professor Crawford lay in his ability to impart his 
wonderful enthusiasm to others, and hundreds of students became suc- 
cessful teachers because of this faculty. To have been a student in Pro- 
fessor Crawford's school was considered an "open sesame" to emplov- 
ment as teacher, and the fact that over two thousand of his former pupils 
followed teaching as a profession would tend to prove this assertion. 

Some of his associates in conducting his normal school, besides ]\Ir. 
Shoemaker, already mentioned, were Charles W. Finney, John T. Hays, 
A. P. Allen and W. H. Cain. An interesting advertisement of the 
seminary in 1869, while it was at Farmersburg, is the following: "The 
schools will open the fall and winter term on Monday, Aug. i6th, 1869. 
Young men and ladies desirous of obtaining a good Practical education 
or of taking a Scientific course will do well to attend this institution, 
as the aim of the instructors is to elevate the standard of teaching. 
Lectures will be given each term by the Principal William T. Crawford 
on the 'Theory and Practice of Teaching,' also lectures on Moral Science 
by Drs. J. Barbre, C. W. Finney and D. L. Shoemaker. . . . Also 
instrumental music on Piano or Melodeon if a class of ten desires to take 
lessons. Tuition $10. Miss Alice S. Hawkins, teacher. . . ." 

After the normal school was transferred to Sullivan the attendance 
in this department was about one hundred and fifty, many of whom 
came from the surrounding country and boarded in town during the 


school term. One of the early observances of the arbor day custom 
occurred in April, 1874, when, at the suggestion of the editor of the 
Dciiiocraf. the students of the normal department met to plant the school 
yard with trees. Chiefly evergreens were brought, and after the planting 
dinner was served on tables set the length of literary hall. The sessions 
of the normal school were held on the third floor of the recently com- 
pleted Sullivan school building. 

At the opening of the Sullivan schools in 1872, after the consolida- 
tion of the seminary with the graded schools, the faculty under Professor 
Crawford consisted of Professors Cain and Allen, Aliss Sarah Cain, ]\Iiss 
Doris and Miss Debaun. At the close of October, 1872, the principal 
reported the total attendance of the Sullivan schools to be 501 pupils, 
ninety-one of whom were of foreign birth or parentage. The number 
in the normal department was 174, in the grammar school 105, and 220 
in the primary department. 

Two interesting reunions of recent years have had the associations 
of the old seminary as the binding tie of the occasion. In August, 1902, 
at the old settlers' picnic in Bennett's grove at Farmersburg, a reunion 
of the old students was held, and among them the following : John C. 
Chaney, Rev. W. R. Halstead, Hon. ^^^ A. Cullop, I. H. Kelley, Dr. 
George F. Plew, L. F. Donham, Rev. J. H. Strain, Prof. H. W. Currv. 
Hon. R. H. Catlen, A. A. Beecher, S. Stark, H. Z. Donham. William 
'M. Moss, D. W. Henry. L. K. Stock. The following year another 
reunion was held, this time in the old frame seminar}- building itself, 
which had been converted in the meantime into an amusement place 
known as Brunker's Hall. Of those present, fourteen were residents of 
Farmersburg, and eighty-seven were from other places. 

Many former pupils of the Sullivan and Carlisle schools remember 
William H. Cain, who was principal of the Sullivan schools for several 


}-ears in the seventies, and later filled a similar position at Carlisle until 
advancing age caused him to resign, and he retitrned to Sullivan, where 
he died, August y, 1896. He was seventy-five years of age, and had 
lived in this county about twenty-five years. He was a member of the 
Masonic order. 

A few years ago, when the first examinations were held in the United 
States for the Rhodes scholarship prizes, Frank Aydelotte, one of the 
young students from Sullivan county, was among the successful com- 
petitors. He went to Oxford in 1905. He had already acquired his mas- 
ter's degree from Harvard, and had taught in the California state normal 
and at Indiana University. Since his return from his studies abroad he 
has joined the faculty of the University of Indiana. 

As a scientist and educator, one of the most distinguished citizens 
of Sullivan county was John W. Spencer. He was born in Salem, 
Indiana, in 1824, and \vas one of the first students of Indiana State 
University, though he was unable to complete his course. While Dr. 
D. D. Owen was making his "Geological Reconnoisance" through Indiana 
in the late thirties Mr. Spencer was carrying mail from Lawrence county 
to Greencastle. The eminent geologist traveled in company with the 
mail carrier, who proved to be not only a capable guide but also an 
enthusiastic disciple of the science of geology. This early association 
and training furnished Mr. Spencer with the special branch of learning 
to which he afterward gave much attention and in which his labors 
were effective in the advancement of geology. He was one of the pioneer 
school teachers of Sullivan county, taught subscription schools until free 
schools were established in the fifties, and continued in the practical work 
of education for over forty years. He assisted in the geological survey of 
Sullivan county in 1870, and in 1871 was elected a member of the 
American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and later was 


chosen a fellow of the association. He was called "one of the most 
diligent, deserving, and. in certain lines, accomplished scientists in the 
state of Indiana." He was the first secretary of the Sullivan countv 
teachers' institute. 





The subject of means of communication and transportation recurs 
again and again in tlie history of the county. Ever since men began to 
hve on the eartli, the matter of going" from place to place and carrying 
things from place to place has been of vital importance ; and the higher 
the development of society the more perfected become the methods of 
such communication. 

It would be impossible to conceive of our country in its present state 
of civilization without the facilities for movement and transportation which 
men have devised and improved during the last hundred years. The 
problems now presented in the moving of material and persons from 
place to place are among the most serious and perplexing which engage 
the attention of communities, states and the naticm. 

Cities and towns grow in population accordingly as the}- are conve- 
niently situated with respect to transportation facilities, or as these facili- 
ties are supplied when needed. An agricultural district, however fertile, 
will be improved to the point of profitable production only when means 



are at hand or are provided by wliich the products may be readih- and 
economically taken a\va\- to the markets. 

These economic principles hnd many illustrations in the history of 
Sullivan county. The county has had its Indian trails, its paths blazed 
through the woods, its primitive state and local highways, its water 
routes, its graveled pikes, its railroads, and its electric lines, each accom- 
panying a new degree of development and marking a new era in the 

welfare of the people. 

During the pioneer era of Sullivan county, the Wabash river was the 

great artery of transportation-. From the records of the pioneers it will 
be found that many of the early settlers used the river route for at least 
a part of their migration. Some came up the river in canoes or other 
light craft. \"incennes was at the time the intermediate station for set- 
tlers, who usually stopped there before making their final selection of land. 
The journey to \'incennes was often made by water, and from that point 
the emigrants struck inland to their new homes on the prairies. 

But the Wabash river was of less importance to the actual settle- 
ment of this county than as a commercial liighway after the people were 
permanently located and had begun to produce the crops of the soil in 
C[uantities greater than the demands of local consumption. The problem 
of sending produce to the markets and of bringing home the commodities 
which supplied the wants of a pioneer community was largely solved, in 
this county, Ijy the transportation facilities of the Wabash river. 

It was only a few years after the organization of the county that the 
inhabitants of the Wabash valley witnessed the unusual spectacle of a craft 
propelled by steam against the current of the river. The first steamboat 


passed np the river as far as Terre Haute in ]\Iay, 1823. and that event 
signaHzed the beginning" of an important commerce both up and down 
the river, which continued until the railroad era. Previous to that time 
the only boats that could make progress up the river were light hand- 
propelled craft, hardly serviceable for regular commerce. 

Flat Boats. 

The magnitude of the Wabash commerce in 1832 is described in a 
quotation from "The Emigrants and Travelers' Guide," published in that 
year. "Hundreds of flat-boats annually descend the Wabash and White 
rivers. . . . The trade of the \\'abash river is becoming immense. 
In 1831. during the period between March 5th and April i6th. fifty-four 
steamboats arrived and departed from A'incennes. It is also estimated 
that at least one thousand flat-boats entered the Ohio from the \\'abash 
in the same time. In February, March and April of this }ear there were 
sixty arrivals of steamboats at Lafayette." This writer tells us that one- 
tenth of the flat-boats, according to estimate, were "loaded with pork at 
the rate of 300 barrels to the boat," — another tenth said to be loaded with 
lard, cattle, horses, oats, cornmeal, etc., and the remainder with corn on 
the ear. The value of produce and stock sent annually to market from 
the valley of the AX'abash was estimated by one authority at nearly 

The flat-boat was an ideal craft for the times and purpose for the 
Indiana rivers, from its light draft, its capacit}' and cheapness. The flat- 
boats were made in the fall and winter, ready for the spring waters. 
Trunks of poplars, sometimes 90 to 100 feet long, without a splice, were 


used for the gunwales. The tree was squared In- hewing, and then 
mounted on "bucks" so that two men could whip-saw it from end to end. 
The two timbers were then about eight inches thick and from two to three 
feet wide. These formed the two sides or gunwales. Xear the lower edge 
of each gunwale, a groove was cut a depth of two or three inches to allow 
tlie flooring to be set on, and tlie planks were bolted by wooden pins. 
The pins were made by the barrel. Spikes were not used because of 
expense and scarcity of iron. The seams were calked with hemp or flax. 
Uprights were set at intervals along the gunwales, and the sides were 

boarded up to the required height, depending upon the draft of the vessel. 
A thousand bushels of corn were often the contents of one cargo. 

The boats were built bottom-side up. and when tinished were turned 

over bv block and tackle. Sometimes they were built on a slope at the 
water's edge so that turning was easier. Another method was to turn the 
boat right side up in the water, sand being piled on one side until the 
weight was sufficient to careen the other side, and a little skilful maneuver- 
ing put the craft upright. 

Corn was shipped in the ear. The southern planters preferred it 
so to being shelled and sacked, since it was less liable to spoil. One of the 
staples brought back from the south was Xew Orleans sugar. Of course, 
sugar was a luxury, and until the steamboat era reduced the cost of trans- 
portation the pioneers generally depended nu maple sugar and other home- 
made substitutes. Even after the steamb(!at traffic became general, a large 
proportion of the imported merchandise used in Sullivan county was 
broueht in overland from Louisville and Evansville. For a number of 


vears a man namcfl \\'ebb, of Merom, carried on an extensive business in 
lianling goods overland. Uq had several fine teams in which he took 
much pride. 

Ihisseron creek was also considered a navigable stream during the 
flat-boat era. Owing to the presence of forest growth and lack of drain- 
age, the waters of this and similar tributaries were greater in volume anrl 
less fluctuating than in later \ears, and during the spring freshets it was 
possible to fioat boats loaded with produce down the current of Busseron. 
Caledonia was once a center for the flat-boat traffic, and boats were also 
loaded at Carlisle and other points. 

Malls and Stage Roads. 

For the transportation of mails and passengers, the pioneer epoch 
had few regular facilities. Mails were carried overland from \'incennes 
to Merom and to Terre Haute usuall}- by horseback. Travel was U'^ually 
li}- the same means, and the individual traveler depended on his own liorse 
and followed such roads as he found through the wilderness. \\ hen 
steamboats began nmning up and down the river, mail and passengers 
were conveyed on the boats, and about the same time the state road was 
constructed from \'incennes north through Merom to Terre Haute. For 
many }-ears this road was the princi])al thoroughfare for all kinds of 
traffic up and down the Wabash valley. The river was not navigable at 
all times of the year, and consequently the stage road was more to be 
depended upon for transportation the year around. A line of stage 
coaches ran over this route even for a year or more after the building of 


\\\v railroad north and south. Alerom was a reg-ular station on the Hne, 
which ])asscd on through (iraysville and Fairbanks into \'igo county. 

The state road was so called because it was laid out in accordance 
\vith the provisions of a special act of the state legislature. Still other 
highways were confined to the county itself, although generally connecting 
with other thoroughfares at the boundaries. vSuch highways were under 
the sole jurisdiction of the county commissioners and known as county 
roads. A large part of the time of every session of the county board 
during the early period of the histor}- of the county was taken up with 
hearing petitions for these county roads, appointing viewers to lay them 
cnit, hearing and approving the reports of the viewers and establishing the 
roads, or in listening to remonstrances and appointing reviewers. In 
time, however, all the necessary roads have been laid out, and it is not 
often now that petitions for new roads are presented to the commissioners. 

Modem Rood Buildin 

The attention of the county board and of the township road authori- 
ties is now, and has been for years, chiefly given to bridging, draining, 
grading, graveling and otherwise improving the highways already laid 
out. Although when first laid out and improved, the various highwa}"s 
were for a time distinguished as national, state, county and even township 
roads ; yet now, and for a long time, all roads are improved and cared for 
under the countv and township road authorities, and the laws in relation 
to highways apply uniformly to all public roads, no matter by what 
authority they were originally established. 

It is said that the L^nited States postal authorities in charge of the 


free delivery mail routes have recently pronounced the highwavs of 
Indiana the best in the Union. In Sullivan county the process of perma- 
nent road improvement is not more than twenty years old. At the present 
time there are about 400 miles of "improved" roads in the county, that is, 
roads that have been traded and surfaced with rock or gravel, so that 
their condition is comparatively speaking" one of permanent improvement. 
Certain portions of highway in the county, especially what have been 
known as "Busseron bottom roads," became subjects of special work an.d 
expense some forty years ago. There is record of a meeting at the court 
house in 1867 of those interested in the improvement of the Linton road 
across the E'usseron bottom. J. C. Brodie was chairman. The sum of 
$800 was subscribed for the repair of this highway. 

Aside from these special efforts to make passable roads, the good 
roads movement in this county began during the latter decade of the '80s. 
In 1886 it was estimated that the total amount of taxes for roads col- 
lected during the preceding ten years was $57,373-39. this being the net 
amount after deducting expenses of collection. The amount expended 
on roads in 1876 was $2,665; 1878, $3,393.64; in 1879, $2,608.72, while 
during the last four years of this decade the annual expenditure had 
reached over nine thousand dollars per year. And yet a very small ])art 
of this sum had been expended with a view to permanent results, and the 
roads were considered as bad if not worse than before. 

About 1890 a new law was enacted providing for the construction of 
gravel roads, to be paid for by township taxation. In Sullivan county 
the building of gravel roads met strong opposition. The newly organized 
F. M. B. A. directed its power against this form of community under- 


taking', and when these lodges began to oppose it the public agitation in 
Iielialf (il the movement was ])artl}- nullified. The Democrat had little to 
say in its cohuuns except to call attention to the depth of nuul on the 
various roads and the consequent loss of business to Sullivan. 

Hut the good roads movement made an appeal to business interests 
that made its ultimate success inevitable. In January, 1892, a meeting at 
the court house resolved imanimously in favor of building a road from 
Sullivan to the gravel beds in Turman township. The executive com- 
mittee appointed by this meeting consisted of Claude Crowder, Robert 
Dudley, John H. \\'elling. Jacob I'illman and J. L. Higbee, while a com- 
mittee U) furnish estimates of cost was composed of t^. H. Blue, Ilarrv 
Pittman, C. L. Davis and T. J. \\'olfe. About the same time a session of 
the farmers' institute devoted an entire afternoon to the road question. 

A resume of the road situation was published in Februar\-. 1892, in 
whicli it was shown that from 1875 to 1890 the sum of $90,805.84 w^as 

paid out for roads, an average of six thousand dollars a year, exclusive 
of salaries to trustees and supervisors and the sums paid for road scrapers, 
graders and plows ; also it did not include the sums paid out of township 
funds nor work done by road hands who were warned out b}' the road 
supervisors and required to work a certain number of days. All this 
monev was declared to have been wasted so far as any permanent iiuprove- 
ment in the condition of the count}"s highways was concerned. 

About the middle of that decade, however, the construction of gravel 
roads became general in different parts of the county. An item in March, 
1896, states that in nearl\- all the townships petitions for improved roads 
w^ere circulating, and that the survevor and viewers had been at w-ork 


in Haddon, petitions having been circulated for the grading of roads in 
ahnost all directions from Carhsle. 

In July, 1897, a contract was awarded by the county commissioners 
for the construction of 77 miles of road in the county, for a total sum of 
$137,000. Other contracts followed each }car, until within ten years the 
county had about four hundred miles of road. While many of these 
roads have been surfaced with gravel, in recent years the commissioners 
have awarded large contracts for crushed stone roads. There are no 
large gravel deposits available in the count}', and it has been found to be 
more economical to bring in crushed stone for road making. The cost 
per mile of a stone road is between four and five thousand dollars. 

The building of these roads has been a heavy drain upon the 
resources of the county and townships. Several years ago it was found 
that some of the townships had reached the limit of their indebtedness, 
and were unable to contract further improvements. In JNIay, 1906, it was 
announced that the county commissioners would entertain no petitions for 
graveling roads until the different townships became able to assume their 
share of the financial burdens. Every township was then bonded to its 
legal limit, and no funds would be available for road making during the 
next two years. It was charged that this condition was largely the result 
of the abuse of the privilege of building short roads. Every resident had 
interested himself in the construction of a road past his farm, but this did 
not promote a thorough system of roads, laid out for the best welfare of 
all concerned. 


The building of bridges has been one of the important functions of 
A'ol. I — 10 


the board of county commissioners from the time of the settlement of the 
county. At the present time it would be difficult to find in the countv a 
highway crossing over a stream that is not bridged. Along the principal 
roads, especially those traversed by the stage and mail lines, bridges were 
built at an early date, though until within the memory of the present 
generation a customary method of getting over a stream was to ford it, 
and the roads often turned aside from the straight line in order to strike 
the stream at a fordable point. Likewise a great change has occurred in 
the type of bridges used. Formerly the wooden bridge was altogether in 
use. the superstructure resting often on wooden pillars, but sometimes on 
stone columns. ^lost of the larger bridges erected within the last twenty- 
live years have been of iron or steel construction, though the cement arch 
and the reinforced concrete type has rapidly come into favor during the 
past ten years. 

One of the early iron bridges of which there is record was a bridge 
built over Buck creek in 1883, the King's Iron Bridge Company of Cleve- 
land having the contract. The supports for this bridge were four iron 
columns about twenty inches in diameter, filled with rock and cement. 
and the fifty-foot span was of iron. In 1886 the county commissioners 
contracted for the building of two iron bridges, one over the Busseron at 
Paxton and one at Carlisle. 

The commissioners reported, in Xovember, 1894. that 31 iron bridges 
had been put up in the county as a result of orders from their office. 
Each year a considerable part of the county expenditures have been 
devoted to the construction of bridges, the sum expended in 1901 being 
nearlv eleven thousand dollars. 



Following the era of river and canal and stage-coach transportation 
came the railroads. During the stirring epoch of internal improvements 
of the early thirties, railroads and canals were planned to supplement each 
other. Eight railroads were chartered by the Indiana legislature in 1832, 
and during the next five years twenty-eight charters in all were granted 
for proposed lines. But for the time the canals w'ere pushed with greater 
energy, and the era of railroads in Indiana begins with the middle of the 

The first railroad in the state was a mile and a half long, at Shelby- 
ville, as part of the Lawrenceburg and Indianapolis line. It cost $1,500 a 
mile, and was opened July 4, 1834. Its traction equipment was one 
liorse, which "was found able to draw forty or fifty persons at the rate 
of nine miles an hour." A few miles of the line from Madison to Indian- 
apolis was opened in 1838, and marked the real beginning of the great 
railroad system of the state. 

After the collapse of state enterprise in promoting internal improve- 
ments, the Madison road was turned over to a private company. The 



first train steamed into Indianapolis on Oetober i, 1847, and at this date 

the ^Madison & hKhanapohs Railroad was the only one of importance in 

the state. The progress of railroad building during the next few years is 

indicated in the figures for 1850, when five short roads comprised only 212 

miles in the aggregate, and for 1852-53. when twenty roads were in 

operation in the state. Railroads ruined the canal enterprises, and it is 

also noteworthy that the towns which grew during the second half of 

the century were those located on railroad lines. 

The first railroad between the Wabash and Indianapolis was built 

between Terre Haute and the capital, largely through the enterprise of 

Chauncey Rose, who was the first president. This road (now the \'an- 

dalia) was completed at the close of 1851. Up and down the Wabash 

valley the freight traffic was still carried by the canal and river packets. 

On the south the nearest railroad to Sullivan county was a line that had 
been started from Evansville about 1850. and after progressing as far as 

\'incennes halted there for lack of means. Chauncey Rose saw the value 

of a southern connection for his east and .west road, had the line surveyed, 

raised founds, and W. D. Griswold built the first railroad through Sullivan 

county and was placed in control of its management. 

This was the origin of the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad, which 

was completed through Sullivan county in 1854. The first train passed 

through Sullivan over this line Xovember 25. 1854. For several months 

preceding passengers had been conveyed between Sullivan and Carlisle 

by stage. 

It is not surprising that the advent of the first railroad to a com- 
munity was made the occasion of celebration, and the year 1854 was 


marked by several gatherings in Sullivan and Carlisle and elsewhere in 
the county to give proper distinction to an event of so much significance 
to the whole welfare of the county and its people. The construction of 
railroads at that time partook more of the character of a popular enter- 
prise than is true of present undertakings. Large subscriptions were 
raised in the country tributary to the roads, and without this assistance 
few of the earlier roads could have been built. It is estimated that Sulli- 
van county contributed about $100,000 to the building of its first railroad, 
and that over half of this amount was paid in 1854, a year which was 
marked by an almost total failure of crops. Carlisle gave the largest 
amount of any town in the county. The first survey located the road 
three miles west of the village, and rather than lose the great prize some 
sixteen public-spirited citizens subscribed over thirty thousand dollars to 
the railroad company. 

The railroad did not solve all the problems of transportation for the 
people of Sullivan county. Either the railroad management proved 
somewhat arbitrary in its dealings, or the people were slow to accustom 
themselves to the new conditions. There is curious evidence of this atti- 
tude toward the railroad in a brief article in the Democrat of January 24, 
1857, in which complaint is made of the exorbitant railroad rates and of 
the lack of depot facilities. The wagoners of Sullivan had met a few days 
previously, with Isaac Voorhiss chairman and John Carico secretary of 
the meeting, and had resolved to establish a wagon line to Terre Haute 
for transportation of freight at not higher rates than those charged by 
the railroad company, with the advantage to the customers in saving 
drayage charges at both ends of the line. Whether the wagon men were 


successful in ^ettini;' a considerable share of the traffic is not known, but 
it is certain that C()ni])etition between the railroad and the wagon road 
would soon result in complete victory for the former.''' 

In the election for representative for the legislature in 184 — , the 
charge against the re-election of Benjamin Wolfe was made that he had 
voted to charter the E. and T. H. R. R. at the previous session, which 

had failed to pass; that if re-elected and the charter was granted, that the 
horses, now worth fifty to seventy-five dollars, would not be worth more 
than twenty-five or thirty. The issue failed. 'Sir. Wolfe was elected and 
the charter was granted. 

For twenty years the county had the one railroad as the central com- 
mercial artery. Some time after the war arose discussion and agitation 
over the construction of what was known as an "east and west railroad," 
the principal terminal points of the proposed line being St. Louis and 
Cincinnati. The career of this east and west line has been a checkered 
one. and in its original construction it was an example of certain railroad 
enterprises which were projected in different sections of the country and 
nearlv all of which were principally productive of expensive litigation and 
the unloading upon counties, townships and individuals of large obliga- 
tions with a few miles of railroad to show for them. 

The proposition was first brought to practical consideration l\v the 
voters of the county early in 1870, when a vote was taken on the matter 
of laying a tax of two dollars per hundred on all personal and real prop- 
erty of the county for the benefit of the projected railroad line. Anti- 

* "An increase of freight has justified the putting on of an extra train, so that 
we now have an acpomniodation train each way daily." — Democrat, April 10, 1862. 


donation meetings were held at Carlisle and elsewhere, and when the 
election was held in April, only a little more than five hnndred votes were 
cast in favor of the tax, and nearly 1,900 against it. (iill township voted 
for the tax and in llamiltcm the vote was close, bnt elsewhere the people 
showed themselves nnmistakably opposed to any snch connty snbsidy. 

The Cincinnati and St. Lonis Straight Line Railroad was the name 
of the enterprise which received most snpport in the connt}-. The }ear 
1872 was frnitfnl of railroad projects, frequent election notices appearing 
in the Democrat of that year. Support for these undertakings was sought 
not only from the county as a whole but from the individual townships. 
Thus twenty-five freeholders of Fairbanks township petitioned that ten 
thousand dollars should be appropriated by the township to aid in the 
building of the Terrc Haute and Southwestern, the appropriation to be 
invested in the stock of the railroad, and a condition of the appropriation 
was that the line should be built from the northern limit of the township 
to a point not further north than the Narrows. At the same time the 
Cincinnati and Terre Haute Railroad was asking aid from the county, to 
the amount of $73,000 from the county, and at the same election Hamilton 
township and Cass and Gill townships were asked individually to contrib- 
ute two dollars for each one hundred dollars of taxable propertv for the 
construction of the east and west railroad. The election was held Feb- 
ruary 12, and the county tax defeated by a large majority, but the three 
townships mentioned each voted the subsidy asked for by the C. & 
St. L. S. L. 

In the following July the tax voted by the three townships was 
assessed and collected, at the rate of 60 cents on the hundred dollars. 


For over two years nothing is heard of these railroad enterprises. In 
October, 1874, mention is made of a meeting held at the court house in 
the interest of the east and west railroad, and it is reported at the time 
that work was being pushed on the section between the I. & \'. and Bloom- 
field. In November, 1874, a meeting of Cass township citizens was held 
in the Center schoolhouse to aid in making arrangements to secure the 
east and west railroad, and the committee appointed for that purpose con- 
sisted of William Bledsoe, Dan Case, Jefiferson Alumbaugh, Thomas G. 
Neeley, Wiley Gambill, Flemmon Keen, and J. AL Stansil. In the follow- 
ing month the township voted a two per cent tax for the purpose. 

In 1875 the east and west railroad made considerable progress. 
Those interested in the enterprise met at Sullivan in July, and at the 
time it was reported that a contract had been entered into for the con- 
struction of the entire line from the Wabash river to Bedford, the con- 
tractors being Buell, Clark and Company. The section from Switz City 
to I. & A', was to be completed by October ist, and the rest of the line 
by July I, 1876. In September Gill township gave a large majority in 
favor of a two per cent tax for this railroad, provided it was built on the 
specified route. 

The work progressed slowly. In April, 1876, an item states that the 
narrow-gauge trains were to run into the Evansville and Crawfordsville 
depot, a third rail to be laid in the track for that purpose. But the first 
definite announcement of operation of trains to Sullivan by the new line 
was a paragraph in the Democrat of July 15, 1877: "The long expected 
locomotive of the narrow-gauge railroad arrived in town last Monday. 
It is a very handsome little engine, and is named the Joseph W. \\'olfe. 


Iron is on hand for track-laying, and a frog is to be put in on the track 
of the E. & T. H. at the junction." 

Henceforth for many years the narrow-gauge hue becomes a popular 
subject for the shafts of ridicule from the editor of the Democrat. One 
of the amusing arraignments appeared in an issue of July, 1877, when a 
bold leader announced a "Strike on the Narrow Gauge," the continuation 
being: "The following communication was handed to us by one of the 
committee with request for its publication. We hope the matter will be 
amicably adjusted without calling upon the president for troops. 'Mr. 
Joseph W. Wolfe, president. Sir: We, the undersigned, a regularly 
constituted committee of the employes, including engineers, firemen, 
brakemen, conductors and yard hands on your road, demand fifteen per 
cent advance on our wages, to take effect from and after July 24, 1877. 
If our modest request is not promptly complied with we will strike at 
12 o'clock AI. tonight. We have the assurance of a strong alliance and 
co-operation of the Crawford and Lockwood Bysickle What-is-it Line. 
Our language should not be construed as intimidating, but if our wages 
are not increased, we will tear up the track, ditch the engines, burn your 
round-house, pull up your piling and plant your road-bed in sweet pota- 
toes, as productive industries must prevail if the railroads go under. \n 
early reply is respectfully solicited. — John Flannagan, Buncomb O'Flint, 
John Stout, Child Fairweather, Bumpres Hobbs, committee.' " A little 
later it was reported that the strike had subsided without trouble. 

A more serious review of the condition of this road appears in the 
issue of October 10, 1877: "The narrow-gauge road has failed again. 
We do not know how many times this has happened in the past two or 


three years. A numljer of different eontraetors have taken hold of it, 
work to the animint of $ii,ooo has been done in grading and pile-ch'iving. 
ties have been furnished, a neat httle locomotive is here but not paid f(jr. 
J. W. Wolfe has guaranteed orders until he finds himself involved for 
considerable amounts. The last collapse is due to the refusal of the sub- 
scribers to the bonus to give their notes payable on completion of the 
road. The contractors evidently expected to get the subsidies before work 
was done." 

In November of the same year a public meeting was held at Sullivan 
in the interest of the narrow gauge. A technical error by which the lan- 
guage of the election notice did not correspond with that of the petition 
threatened to invalidate the collection of the taxes voted two years before. 
yir. Wolfe, the president of the enterprise, addressed the meeting, explain- 
ing the error and reviewing his work for the enterprise undertaken on his 
part without hope of personal benefit. 

Early in Jatmary, 1878, it was announced that General Lyon and 
other citizens of Quincy, Illinois, had assumed the obligations of the road 
and had undertaken to complete the line so that cars would be running 
from the Wabash river to Linton by the first of July. The Dcuwcrat 
urged that all taxes and subscriptions should be paid at once. 

It was the summer of 1880 before the county began receiving an\- 
benefit from this railroad. In July it was announced that the narrow 
gauge was making preparations for business, having already hauled con- 
siderable wheat from the east side of the county. \\"\\\ Stark was 
appointed first agent at Sullivan. Early in August the first excursion to 


Sullivan over this road was run on account of the Democratic mass 

Another chapter in the Instory of the narrow gauge is told in the 
issue of the Democrat of I"\-hruary i, 1882. Acting according to the 
directions of the court, Judge Black, who had been appointed receiver for 
the Cincinnati, Effingham & Ouincy Construction Company, sold the 
assets of that corporation at the court-house door in Sullivan. The pur- 
chaser was John B. Lyon, the principal creditor of the bankrupt company. 
The assets brought considerably more than their appraised value. Among 
the assets were the subscriptions and the taxes voted in the different town- 
ships. Suits were brought for the collection of the taxes in Cass. Hamil- 
ton and Gill townships, and (Jill township succeeded in evading the collec- 
tion for some years. 

Financial difficulties were not the only ones that assailed this railroad. 
In November, 1883, heavy rains caused iioods that did great damage to 
all the railroads, but were specially disastrous to the narrow gauge, the 
road-bed and bridges in the river valley being entirely destroyed, and it 
was not until the following August that the track was built down to the 
river bank. The condition of the line is shown in some items in the 
Dciiiocraf that appeared in the spring of 1885. On one occasion, as the 
train was pulling into the station, about fifty feet of the track gave way, 
the engine, tender and a heavily loaded coal car crushed through the 
rotten ties, and was left embedded in the mud. A few days later another 
section of track gave way about a mile east of Sullivan, and three flat- 
cars were left in the mud. In the following summer it was stated that 
Air. P. H. Blue had taken charge of the road and would put it in good 


conditioii. In 1886 the general offices were moved to Sullivan, a bridge 
was constructed over the Wabash, and some additions were made to the 
rolling stock. The first train crossed the Wabash river in April. At this 
time the full title of the road had become the Indianapolis and Illinois 
Southern, though locally it was always referred to as the "narrow gauge." 
In June, 1886, the road was mortgaged to W^ R. [NIcKeen and John S. 
Alley, trustees, for half a million dollars, to secure a bond issue of that 
amount. A portion of tlie proceeds of these bonds were used for paying 
off matured bonds, while the remainder was to be devoted to the rehabili- 
tation of road-bed and rolling stock. By the first of July, 1886, through 
trains began running over the line as far as Effingham. 

A statement of the road's condition in October, 1887, enumerated 
between five hundred and six hundred employes, reported that the road 
had been made standard gauge as far as Palestine, and that the gauge 
would be uniform throughout to Effingham by the close of the year, that 
almost every bridge was new, that a new iron bridge was being con- 
structed over the Embarrass river, and that a hundred new freight cars 
had been ordered. 

Another stage in the tedious chronicles of this road was reached in 
January, 1890, when a foreclosure sale of the I. & I. S. R. R. was held, 
and the property was bid in by the first-mortgage holders. In August, 
1892, as reported by the Indianapolis Nczvs, the board of state tax com- 
missioners listened to a most pathetic tale concerning the helpless, hope- 
less poverty and bankruptcy of this road. John T. Hays of Sullivan was 
the pleader before the board in behalf of the I. & I. S. He reviewed its 
historv as a narrow-gauge line, built by a construction company which 


got all the stocks and bonds. The rails used were but thirty-five to forty 
pounds a yard and were second-hand at that, and yet since that iron was 
laid in 1880 less than ten miles of it has been replaced. The ties were for 
a narrow-gauge line, but were not changed when the gauge was broad- 
ened. The rails are, claimed the pleader, absolutely worn out, and not 
over 25 per cent of the ties can be used when the new track is laid, and 
the right of way is too narrow for a standard gauge. The only portion 
of ballasted track on the entire road is about half a mile near Sullivan. 
The length of the entire road in Indiana and Illinois is eighty-eight miles, 
and the total earnings for the past year were $8i,2"8i, and the net earnings 
did not suffice to pay one cent of interest on the obligations. The four 
locomotives w^ere bought second-hand from the A'andalia in 1887 at 
$4,000 apiece. The rails are so small that the flanges of the engine and 
car wheels cut out channels in the rotten old ties, these grooves being a 
sort of protection, since they prevent the rails from spreading. The 
engines are in the ditch scores of times in a year, and some of the wheels 
are on the ground more da}s than not. At this point of Mr. Hays' speech, 
according to the version of the Nczvs, the blare of a brass band was heard, 
and all recognized its melody as "Listen to my tale of woe." The woful 
description was then continued by the Sullivan attorney, who said that 
the railroad shops consisted of a blacksmith shop, and that the one pas- 
senger coach was a survival of the narrow-gauge period, and its width had 
not been changed, and standard-gauge trucks had been placed underneath. 
Not until the close of the decade did relief come to this much ridi- 
culed railroad. In September, 1899, articles of incorporation were filed 
at the clerk's office for the Illinois & Eastern Railroad Company, which 


was thought to be the final move in the purchase of the I. & I. S. Ijy the 
llhnois Central, antl in the following" year the Indianapolis Southern and 
the Illinois and Indianapolis were consolidated under the former name, 
both being Illinois Central lines. In Xovember, 1906, the line between 
Effingham and Indianapolis was finally completed, and service established 
between those cities. 

In January. 1872, it was announced that passengers were carried 
without change from Sullivan to Chicago, over the E.. T. H. & C. L'p to 
that time this railroad had always been referred to as the Evansville & 
Crawfordsville, which was the original name, but about this time it 
assumed the title of Evansville and Terre Haute, which has since been 
borne bv that portion of this line south of Terre Haute. The opening" of 
the road to Chicago was regarded as of special advantage to the industrial 
interests of Sullivan county, as it undoubtedly was. It opened a direct 
trade for the coal mines, and stimulated that industry to a great develop- 
ment during the next few vears.'^' 

The northeast quarter of Sullivan county is a network of railroad 

' The Democrat of August 6, 1903, gives the following historical outline of 
the E. & T. H. Railroad: It was chartered in 1847 as the Evausville & "Wabash, 
];eing the tliird road Iniilt in the state. It was first intended to build the road 
from E\'ansville to Olney, Illinois. Crossing the ri\er at Mt. Carmel. The stock- 
holders were Evansville people who took shares of fifty dollars each. Sam Hall 
was the first president. After ten miles of the road had been constructed, the 
route was changed with Vincennes as thf objective point. Among the later 
presidents of the road were John Ingle and John Martin, and in 18S2 U. J. 
Mackey was made president. Capt. G. J. Grammer became president in 1893, 
and during his term many extensive improvements were made. The consolidation 
of the road with the C. & E. I. under the Eock Island management occurred 
during the presidency of H. C. Barlow, who assumed the office in 1900. 


lines wliich carry off the output of the coal mines. These short lines are 
all branches either of the E. & T. H. or of the Southern Indiana. The 
latter railroad, throughout its entire length, is essentially a coal road, and 
until recently has made no attempt to accommodate passenger traffic, 
and has done little business outside of handling the enormous coal tonnage 
which originates along its lines. 

The main line extended southeast from Terre Haute to Linton and 
beyond, passing through only the northeast corner of this county. What 
was known as the Sullivan count}- branch was built from a point about a 
mile south of Jasonville. In ^la.y, 1901, its construction was said to be 
progressing rapidly. This branch resulted in the establishment of the 
railroad station of Gilmour. which was named for the superintendent of 
the Alum Cave mine. In January, 1900, it was reported in the paper that 
John R. Walsh had driven from Jasonville to Sullivan over the route of 
the proposed extension, and that it was definitely decided that the branch 
should be brought to Sullivan. \\'ork on the Black Hawk-Sullivan exten- 
sion was begun early in 1902, and at the same time the final scheme of 
the lines in this county was adopted, including a branch from Glendora to 
Shelburn, and thence northeast to the Sullivan extension. It was Ijelieved 
that these different roads would practically control the choice coal fields 
of this county. 

The opening of passenger trafific over the Southern Indiana for Sulli- 
van did not occur till the end of 1905. Trains began running on Xo\-em- 
ber 13th, though some trains had been running on the shorter branches 


from Sullivan since the latter part of August. The route to Terre Haute 
by this line is about five miles longer than by the E. & T. H. 

Electric Railroads. 

At the meeting of the town board of Sullivan on December ii, 1902, 

four companies were heard with regard to franchises for electric lines. 
R. G. Haxton wanted a franchise for the Black Diamond Railroad, to con- 
nect Evansville and Indianapolis, via Sullivan. Parties in Sullivan asked 
for an interurban franchise, the Indiana Traction Company proposed to 
build a road from A'incennes to Terre Haute, and the Sullivan Light, Heat 
and Power Company protested against the granting of license for the 
time being, on the ground that they were considering a local street rail- 
way to operate in connection with any interurban lines. All the petitions 
were tabled. In the following January the Indiana Coal Belt Traction 
Company was incorporated to build a line from Sullivan to Linton, btit 
the town of Sullivan refused to grant them a license in the following 
April. In June, 1903, the Sullivan town board granted franchises to the 
Indiana Coal Belt Traction Company and to the Western Indiana Trac- 
tion Compan}-, the latter being a Mncennes corporation. Both were given 
franchises for the use of certain streets for a period of fiftv vears, their 
lines to be completed by the end of ]\Iay, 1908. Farmersburg also 
granted a franchise to the ^^'estern Indiana Company. 

]May 26, 1904, it was annoimced that a company backed by Chicago 
capital and known as the Terre Haute Southern Electric Company was 
given a franchise by the county commissioners, the line to run from Terre 


Haute to Sullivan, Linton, \'incennes, Jasonville, Alerom and intermediate 
points. The actual construction of an interurban line had not yet begun, 
though there was much discussion of the undertaking and the granting of 
franchises. Early in HJ05 it was said that three electric lines were seek- 
ing entrance to Sullivan streets, and that in the competition for traffic 
the new Southern Indiana Railroad would also prove a formidable oppo- 
nent of these interurban lines, since it ])roposed to run ten accommodation 
trains a day, with low fares. 

In the spring of 1905 the Terre Haute Traction & Light Companv 
made public their plans to build an interurl)an line to Sullivan, and earl\- 
in April the company began actual work along the route of survey south 
of Terre Haute. In October of that year the Sullivan town l)oard 
granted the company privilege of constructing tracks on either Court, 
Section, State or Broad streets, for a period of twent_\-five years, for a 
consideration of $1,000. Shelburn had granted the franchise free, and 
Farmersburg received five hundred dollars for the grant. Work of con- 
struction continued during 1905 and through the spring of 1906, and the 
first interurban car running on a regular schedule left the public square 
at Sullivan on June 24, 1906, at 7 a. m. A large crowd of passengers 
took this first ride. A majority of the local passenger traffic between 
Sullivan and Terre Haute is now cared for by the interurban line. 

In the spring of 1907 the Terre Haute and ]\Ierom Traction Com- 
pany was formed, and a line surveyed for an interurban road from Terre 
Haute through Prairietown. Middletown, Fairbanks, Staffordshire, Scott 
City and Alerom. At the November election of the same year the propo- 
sition of granting a subsidy to this company was submitted to the voters 

Vol. I— 11 


of the townships through which the road would pass. It indicates the 
emphatic attitude of the people on this subject as contrasted with their 
sentiments and actions of thirty or forty years ago that all the townships 
defeated the movement by heavy majorities. During 1908 some work was 
done along the proposed route, but the original company went into a 
receivership in ^lay, and at this writing the townships of Fairbanks and 
Turman are still without transportation facilities. 

Chronological Notes. 

Feb. 28, 1872 — Meeting called to consider proposition from the 
Terre Haute and Cincinnati R. R. Co. to run their road through Carlisle 
provided a two per cent tax is raised. The meeting vmanimously in favor. 

June 26, 1872 — Terre Haute and Southwestern will cross the Wabash 
at Chenowith's ferry. Cross ties already contracted for. 

Sept. 10, 1873 — A branch railroad to be built from the E. & T. H. 
from Shelburn to the coal fields in Jackson township. 

Sept. 2, 1874 — The railroad company is planning to move the Sulli- 
van depot either three-quarters of a mile north or south of present 

Alarch 21, 1876 — The Indianapolis and Sullivan Narrow Gauge Coal 
Railroad has been organized. 

August 28, 1888 — A strike of engineers on the E. & T. H., but the 
trouble was settled by restoring two men who had been discharged. 

Nov. 5, 1889 — The St. Louis, Indianapolis & Eastern Railroad incor- 
porated. First directors, P. H. Blue, C. P. Walker, F. E. Easier, J. T. 
Hays, S. R. Engle, C. R. Hinkle, John Giles. 



The town of Sullivan was founded as the result of the selection of 
the site as the county seat, and in this respect was a made-to-orcler town. 
Members of the Walls family had entered the land in this vicinity only 
about three years before the site was chosen by the county commissioners, 
so that the place now occupied by the court-house square and all the sur- 
rounding ground was little changed from its state of virgin wilderness. 

William Reed, Samuel Brodie and Abraham F. Snapp were the 
county commissioners who selected the site. They were free to exercise 
their own discretion in the matter of selection, provided their choice was 
fixed upon a place for the court house within a mile and a half of the 
geographical center of the county. The comparatively high ground 
between Buck creek and Busseron on which they determined to locate 
the seat of justice would appear to have been the most eligible place 
within those limits. 

It is an interesting fact, and one that is confirmed by numerous bits 
of evidence throughout this history, that the site of the central portion of 
Sullivan was formerly wet and swamp_\' notwithstanding the slope toward 



the beds of the creeks on either side. It is said that in 1843 water some- 
times stood to a depth of two feet on the court house square.* 

The townsite was deeded to the county agent ( who was the legal 
agent for the transaction of the business connected with the estabUshment 
of the seat of justice), to be divided into town lots, and such as were not 
reserved for official purposes were to be sold. Of the proceeds, one-sixth 
was to be given to the former owner of the land, that being a condition of 
the deed, and the balance was to be used for the erection of a court house 
and other purposes connected with the county seat. 

The survey of the original site was completed May 25. 1842, and the 
first sale of lots occurred the following day. The thirty-five lots sold on 
that day brought prices ranging from $20 to $100 apiece. The original 
plat of Sullivan was four blocks square. On the north it was bounded 
by Beech street, on the east by Broad, on the south b}- Harris, and on the 
west by Section. From north to south the streets were Beech, \\'all, 
\\'ashington, Jackson, Harris; from east to west they were. Broad, State, 
Main, Court and Section. Altogether there were 136 lots in the plat. 

In 1842 it is said that the principal houses of the new town were the 
log dwellings of Hugh S. Orr, ]\Iason F. Buchanan, George Smith and 
Squire [McDonald and a little blacksmith shop owned by the first named. f 

* The Democrat (July 31, 1885,) reported that in digging a cistern on the 
northwest corner of the square, about three feet below the surface the workmen 
found the stump of a small tree, and when it was removed a vein of water was 
discovered which was believed to flow from a spring which about forty years 
before had been situated about where Julius Hatry's store stands. It was thought 
that the stump was of a swamp willow, many of which once grew on the ground 
now covered by the business houses of the town. 

t ' ' Hugh Orr, who bought the first lot in the sale of town lots 23 years ago, 
is moving to Greene county. His smithy, the oldest building in town, will soon be 
gone." (Democrat, April 5, 1866.) Hugh S. Orr died May 19. 1873. 


After the removal of the county records to Sullivan and the building of 
the first court house, this soon became a center of business and residence. 
A description of the village in 1848 mentions a number of well-known 
citizens of the county and town. On Section street in that year were 
some one-story frame houses occupied b}- James C. Allen, then a young 
lawyer but later congressman from Illinois ; John H. Wilson, who was 
sheriff of the county at the time the county seat was moved from JMerom ; 
James W. Hinkle, who had just moved to town and was teaching school; 
and Drs. John E. Lloyd and James H. and D. B. Weir, also Elias Albert- 
son, John Bridwell and A. J. Thixton. Joseph Gray was one of the few 
residents of that time who lived in a two-story house. On the corner of 
Section and Washington streets was Howard's tavern stand, which the 
proprietor had enlarged to two stories, and of which Washington Lilley 
became proprietor about this time.''' Another two-story frame hotel, 
owned by John R. ]\Iahan, stood on Court street near the corner of the 
square. On Washington street near the northwest corner of the square 
were two small store buildings which had been built by Major Stewart of 
lumber sawed by whip-saw. Maj. Isaac Stewart, Dr. William M. Crowder 
and James H. Reed also had their dwellings on Washington street. Daniel 
Turner and F. C. Freeman (a cabinetmaker) were among the few who 
then lived on the south side of the square. The village was better sup- 
plied with physicians at that time than with merchants, artisans or law- 
yers. James, Samuel and John J. Thompson were practicing here in 
addition to those already mentioned. 

* In 1855 this was called the Eailroad House, and J. P. Diifficy was propri- 


For a nninlier of years the affairs of the county seat were conducted 
in the (|uiet manner which leaves Httle record on the page of history. 
Considerable business was done by the early merchants, who had their 
small shops around the square and brought their stocks of merchandise 
overland from Louisville or from some of the river ports. The county 
officials for the most part lived in the village, and the court sessions and 
the annual payment of taxes brought a large part of the population of the 
county into town at least once a year. The county seat was a natural 
focus of interest during political campaigns. In 1843 James W'hitcomb, 
then candidate for governor, made a speech in Sullivan, which was the 
first of many successive occasions at which the people have congregated 
from different parts of the county to listen to political oratory. Besides 
the social activities that centered around the churches, there were special 
occasions that brought the people together in social pleasures, and at the 
homes of the principal families of that day there reigned a hospitality and 
cheerful ease that compensated for many of the inconveniences that would 
seem intolerable in this twentieth century. 

Municipal GroictJi. 

Altogether it was a period of individualism, softened by the firm 
adherence to justice antl the general spirit of kindly neighborliness which 
characterized the people of the time. The churches, the schools, and the 
countv institutions themselves were products of the instincts and habits 
of a people who had always been accustomed to the forms and usages of 
self-government. But the citizenship of Sullivan had not yet advanced 
far in those activities of a social communit\- which characterize 


the well organized and highly efificient town government. The growth and 
im])rovement of Sullivan as a town corporation may be observed with 
profit by those who desire to understand the development of municipal 

It will be understood that for a number of years after the founding 
of the town there existed practically n.o regulations upon the ])eaceful 
vocations of the citizens. People lived in town and experienced no more 
responsibilities and likewise few more conveniences than the rural inhabit- 
ants. The streets were not different from the highroads through the 
country, except that increased travel upon them made them more nearly 
impassable. For many years there were no sidewalks, except the paths 
on the sides of the streets, and here and there a few boards or some 
gravel or cinders to keep the feet from burying in the mud. The ragged 
Sfleams of an old-fashioned lantern or torch, carried in the hands of those 


* Sullivan was incorporated as a town oovernmcnt December S, IS.'SS, by act 
of the county commissioners, who at that date were William Beard, Levi Maxwell 
and Jacob Hoke. The population within the corporation limits at that time were 
enumerated as 'AoO, and the signers of the petition for incorporation, which was 
dated August 20, 1S53, were the following, who may be considered in the light of 
charter citizens: John J. Thompson, H. S. Hanchett, Eobert M. Griffith, John 
Bichards, James Martin, John Bridwell, William C. McBride, Elias Walls, H. S. 
Orr, Alfred Turner, Alex Talley, William P. Hale, James McKinley, John T. 
Turner, Thomas J. Carey, John T. Gunu, William E. Catlin, B. Hasselbaclf, 
William Wilson, Chester O. Davis, James W. Hinkle, John Eaton, James H. 
Chase, Craven Reed, S. O. Eeed, G. W. A. Luzader, C. W. Eaton, Squire McDonald, 
John B. Hughs, M. E. Chace, James H. Eeid, B. C. Sherman, Pleast. Miller, E. 
Bowyer, Alex. Snow, Daniel Brickcy, John S. Davis, Milburu Reed, Eli Shepherd, 
Andrew Turner, S. Nichols, J. P. S. Eeed, W^. N. Humphreys, B. V. Wible, Benja- 
min Stice, W. B. Ogle, A. Mcintosh, G. W. Hanchett. W. Griffith, Isaac Copeland, 
John E. Lloyd, M. Kirkham, William R. Benton, Isaac Stewart, L. H. S. Orr, 
James Mcintosh, B. H. McGrew. 


whom business or pleasure led abroad at night, were the only illumination 
out of doors. The town pump in the public square and the wells and 
cisterns in private homes were the only sources of water supply. The 
slops and garbage were disposed of after the fashion of each individual 
home, and while each citizen had ample space about his doors it was not 
a matter of grave concern whether his home and premises were strictly 

But in time, as population increased and as the sense of responsibility 
of the individual to the community grew, all these matters began to 
receive attention, and it is a subject of considerable interest to trace the 
gradual evolution of the present municipality through the many stages 
of public sentiment and custom. 

One of the earliest references to be found concerning the municipal 
condition of the town is contained in the issue of the Democrat for 
November 24, 1864, and pertains especially to the town burying ground 
(which was still in the town limits). The citizens were accused of a 
most lamentable deficiency in public spirit. "Our graveyard (though the 
public commons in which our dead are interred does not merit the name) 
has never been enclosed ; hogs wallow above the neglected graves ; cattle 
roam through it and eat oft' what little shrubbery the hands of affection 
have planted there : no care is taken to protect the stones and monuments 
from defacement, and the graves are huddled together without order 
and in utter confusion." A few citizens had made repeated ettorts to 
convene the public and get some action on the matter, but so far without 
success. I 

The sidewalks were also declared to be a matter of reproach to the 


town. A year or two ago, said the editor, a few temporary plank 
walks ]iad been constructed on several leading- thoroughfares, but they 
were imperfectly made at tirst and have now become almost worthless. 
The schoolhouse was called "a complete old rookery," which had never 
been suitably arranged and had now become almost worthless. 

The next items that are found relating to the status of the town are 
more optimistic. A letter that was quoted under date of December, 1864, 
vaunted the population of Sullivan to be about 3,000, and summarized its 
business as comprising the well filled stores of eleven merchants, three 
jewelry shops, two merchant tailors, mechanics of all kinds, three hotels, 
one flouring mill, sawmill and woolen factory and a steam stave and 
heading factory. In October, 1865, the editor finds the sidewalks and 
streets to have been put in good order, and a new fence had been built 
around the court house. It is stated that the town officials have deter- 
mined that there shall be an equal number of schoolhouses and churches, 
but the saloon-keepers, not to be outdone in this regard, have called for 
two more saloons, so that there might be four churches, four school- 
houses and eight saloons. 

At a meeting of the town board June 5, 1866, A. F. Estabrook was 
employed as town engineer to survey and fix the uniform grade of the 
streets. Work on the streets had hitherto been done under the direction 
of the supervisors, and the same amount required of each poll. Now it 
was proposed to put a commissioner in charge and to tax the inhabitants 
for street maintenance according to their property values. Evidently 
the year following the close of the war witnessed considerable improve- 
ment of the streets. In October, 1806, it was stated that within the pre- 


viuiis three months about 4,000 feet of plank waUvs, four feet wide and 
uniform in appearance and grade, liad been constructecb and that on the 
business streets 2,500 square }ards of brick pavement had been laid A 
short time before the sidewalks to the railroad station had been completed. 

Some new phases of the street improvement question appear to have 
arisen during the seventies. A paragraph in August, 1878, calls attention 
to the fact that a few days before some hogs had been turned into the 
court house yard to act as scavengers in cleaning up the large quantity 
of decaying rinds and remnants of melons with which the ground was 
littered. A few months later public sentiment seems to have been aroused 
against the running- at large of hogs. In June, 1880, the Democrat 
estimates that not less than five hundred hogs were running loose in 
town without rings in their noses, contrary to the ordinances in such 
cases. A little earlier in the year a doubt had been expressed whether the 
town council had the power to prevent by ordinance hogs at large. Their 
ordinance required that hogs at large should have rings in the nose, but 
provided no penalty of impounding for animals without the rings. So 
far as regarded the littering of the court yard with melon rinds, the 
council imposed a fine of five dollars for eating melons in the square, 
which proved efi^ectual. 

Cows shared the privilege^ of the public streets with hogs. The 
ordinance prohibiting cows running at large was unpopular with many, 
and in March, 1882, the board was asked to repeal it. There was much 
discussion of this matter during the following summer, but the ordinance 
seems to have fallen into desuetude since during the winter months com- 
plainis were heard from the farmers who had made their wagons and 


sleds comfortable with linings of straw that during their absence in thj 
stores stray cows browsed along the line of vehicles and stripped them of 
all their forage contents. The cows and hogs continued to have their 
freedom for a year or more, until in July, 1885, a stock ordinance was 
passed and a pound was built on the north side of the engine house, after 
which the subject of straps ceases to attract attention. 

The first attempt to sprinkle the streets of Sullivan seems to have 
been made during the very dry summer of 1864, when the merchants 
around the square tried to use some sort of sprinkler for that purpose, 
though the scarcity of water rendered the effort almost futile. No 
evidence of street sprinkling is found until the summer of 1879, when an 
item states that a machine w-as to be started by Gilbert Bond. 

One of the first subjects to demand the attention of a town community 
is facilities for fighting fire. Fire being the greatest destructive agency 
that threatens property, it is naturally the first to be guarded against. 
In fact, public sanitation and comfort generally receive attention only 
after a community has advanced far in civic importance, but a fire depart- 
ment of some sort is always among the first institutions. In a rural com- 
munity fire brings loss to but one individual, but the business interests 
of a town require that buiklings shall be placed on adjacent lots, so that 
a fire at one point endangers the entire adjoining neighborhood. Thus 
it is to the interest of the entire town that a fire be extinguished quickl}-, 
and for that purpose organization and discipline become necessary. In the 
early stages of a town's growth this organization is usually voluntary, 
and though the spirit of willingness is seldom absent, efifectiveness is 
sometimes sacrificed. 


Thus during- the first years of SulUvan's existence, a fire brought the 
citizens together with buckets, which were used to carry water from the 
nearest welL A fire well started could seldom be quenched by such 
methods, and it was fortunate if the blaze could be kept from spreading. 

Sullivan has a long record of destructive fires, and the organization 
and equipment for fire fighting have never seemed to be adequate for the 
occasion. No account can be given of the earlier efi:orts at co-operation 
in preventing fires, and aside from the purchase of a few ladders and 
other supplies of a primitive sort there was no organized system in the 
town until within comparatively recent years. In January, 1870, a meet- 
ing was held at the court house, presided over by Lafayette Stewart, 
for the organization of a hook and ladder company, but the movement 
did not succeed. A paragraph in the Democrat in 1879 says: "The 
damage to the Van Fossen and Hunt property, both burned recently, is 
enough to purchase the best hook and ladder apparatus in the state." The 
ladders that had formerly been purchased were lost. 

In January, 1882, a petition was circulated, asking the town l)oard 
to issue bonds to the amount of $7,000 for the purchase of a fire engine 
and other apparatus, to build cisterns, and to purchase propert}' m which 
to keep the apparatus and the street tools. The purchase of some hose and 
a building on Alain street during the following summer shows that the 
agitation had resulted in some good. The hand engine which was ordered, 
how-ever, was refused by the town lioard in April, 1883, and it is probable 
that the town continued without apparatus for a year or two longer. In 
June, 1885, the board paid five hundred dollars for a lot west of the 
McCammon Flotel (which is still the site of the engine house). An issue 


of bonds ($6,000) had been ordered, and were sold to a Sullivan County 
])ank at a premium after the council had provided that interest on them 
should lie ]iaid semi-annually. The next month, plans and specifications 
for the engine house and city hall, as prepared by Kent Conlson, were 
accepted b}- the council, and a contract let to Hoke & Co. for the building 
at $1,942. The contract for building fire cisterns was awarded to Ben 
Hubbard, who began digging them at the corners of the square. About 
the same time a hand engine arrived, and a steamer was ordered from 
Cincinnati ($2,650). It was guaranteed that twelve men could pull the 
engine without difficult}-, that it could pump fourteen barrels a minute. 
Two hose carts and 1,200 feet of hose were also bought. ' On August 
31st the town board selected Elliott Hamill for chief of the fire depart- 
ment. Ben Briggs was chosen captain of the fire company and Charles 
Crawley first lieutenant, while John Glass became foreman of the hook 
and ladder. January 12, 1886, is chronicled the arrival of the first steam 
fire engine in Sullivan. Ed Devol was chosen engineer. 

Little improvements were made in the town fire department from this 
time imtil the building of the water works. The establishment of water 
works is a notable event in the history of every town. While a center 
of population consists of little more than a collection of individual homes 
and the stores, churches and schoolhouses, every detached dwelling may 
have its well, and the town pump aft'ords a general supply. While people 
live without crowding, after the manner of a village, there is slight danger 
of contagious disease, and sanitation is left largely to individual care. 
But as population increases and concentrates, there comes the necessity 
to take more and more the care of these details from the individuals and 


entrust thcMii to the collective management of the community. This is 
clone for the better health, the greater convenience and comfort, and. in 
the end, the superior economy of all who live in the community. 

October 29, 1895, a petiti(in of more than a hundred Sullivan tax- 
payers was filed, asking for an election to take the sense of the town on 
the subject of increasing the municipal debt for the j^urpose of establish- 
ing water works. The following November 22d the citizens voted on this 
question, casting 267 votes for and 197 votes against the proposition. 
Early in the following year a civil engineer was employed to prepare plans, 
which were adopted by the council on the iSth of March. In May supple- 
mentary specifications were adopted for the dam across the Busseron, and 
on June 4th the council entered into a contract with the Howe Pump and 
Engine Company for the construction of the plant. The latter undertook 
to construct a complete system of water works according to the plans, 
to hold the town harmless from all damages in case of overflow, to 
procure the consent of the county commissioners to dam the Busseron. 
The contract also provided for the formation of a water company, to 
procure all real estate, right of way, and to purchase and pay for all 
material to the amount of $18,000, as specified, and to issue bonds to the 
amount of $18,000 on the property and franchises, and eventually all the 
property of the water company was to be conveyed to the town of Sullivan 
and also all the company's stock fully paid up. For the establishment of 
water works, the town board issued bonds to the amount of $22,000, with 

interest at five per cent payable semiannually 

Under this contract the company at once began the work of con- 
' struction. In August, 1896, the Democrat reported the failure of the 


Howe Pump Company, through a "flattening out" of the market for 
municipal bonds, of which the company had a large amount on hand, and 
the work was suspended for some time, leaving the streets in a damaged 
condition. The plant was finally completed, the total cost being $41,857.61. 
The cost was more than the constitutional limit of municipal indebtedness 
allowed, and it was for the purpose of evading this limitation that a 
private company was organized, known as the Sullivan Water Works 
Company, which took title to the property and franchises and gave a 

mortgage on the system for $18,000. 

In a few years the water works were found to be inadequate, and the 
supply was insufficient and of poor quality. In 1901 private capitalists 
oflfered to buy the municipal plant and assume the bonded debt, promising 
to furnish an an]ple supply of pure water. The town found that it was 
operating the plant at a loss of one thousand dollars yearly. Various 
proposals have been made within the past few years by private companies 
to buy the plant and supplement the supply either by wells or by bringing 
water from the Wabash. In the winter of 1902-03 the town sunk a well 
which it was estimated yielded about 350 gallons a minute, but this was 
insufficient. In 1905, the Commercial Club oflfered a solution of the 
problem. It organized the Sullivan Water Works Co., which was to 
assume the franchises, property and debts of the municipal plant, in 
return for which the town should retain a controlling share of the stock 
of the company. Much enthusiasm was aroused over this enterprise, 
and the Commercial Club undertook, with much energy, to carr\- out the 
details of the plan. However, the test wells at New Lebanon and else- 
where, which were expected to furnish the water supply, proved dis- 


appointing", and tlie decision of the snpreme cotirt. early in January. 1906, 
that the mortgage on the water plant constituted a part of the town indebt- 
edness, blocked the way for all the improvements planned by the town 
board. The available credit as a result of the decision was reduced to 
$12,500 instead of $25,000. upon which basis the board had proposed the 

At this writing the water works problem is still before the people 
of Sullivan. During the drouth of 1908 onlv the most stringent regula- 
tions of the use of city water maintained a sufificient quantity of water in 
the standpipe to afford fire protection. This failure of the system, how- 
ever, cannot be charged entirely to the plant, since the severity of the 
season was such that few towns in the state escaped water famine. 

L'ntil about twenty years ago, the streets of Stillivan were as dark as 
the highways of the country. An item dated in August. 1883. records 
the failure of an eft'ort to induce the business men to proctire lamps to 
light the streets in front of their stores, but only two firms adopted the 


Early in 1888 the lighting of the streets began to receive more seriotis 
consideration. By that time electricity had become popular as a source of 
municipal lighting, and it is of interest that Sullivan was among the most 
progressive towns of the state to use this kind of lights. In April of this 
year a local company contracted with the town board to supply thirty 
lights for the streets, at $208.33 per month, and in the following July the 
company arranged for the construction of the power house on the west 
side of Court street, near the mill pond. The plant was completed, the 
d}-namos installed, and on October 8th a public test of the lights was 


made, wliich took the form of a celebration, large crowds of people 
gathering- on the streets, entertained by music from the Sullivan band, 
and with speeches delivered from the band stand by Judge Buff, John S. 
Bays, John T. Hays, and John T. Beasley. The electric light companv 
had not carried out its contract without considerable opposition. After 
the contract had been made between the company and the tow-n board, 
suit was commenced to enjoin the town treasurer from collecting the tax. 
iMeantime the company had bought its plant, commenced building the 
engine house, putting up poles. When Crowder and McCammon forbade 
the company to dig holes in the pavement near the bank and hotel, the 
company replied by seeking an injunction to prevent these parties filling up 
the holes, etc. 

The contract between the company and town expired at the end of 

1893, and in anticipation of a renewal of the contract a new company was 
formed and erected a plant to supply the town with arc lights for street 
lighting. The new company oft'ered thirty arc lights to the town for $50 
each, which was a saving of over thirty dollars per lamp over the former 
price. The plant was completed and a test of the lights made in April, 

1894. Two months later the new company had failed, the engine and 
equipment being replevined by the firms which had installed them. The 
town could not agree with the old company on satisfactory terms for arc 
lights, and in September contracted with N^oah Crawford to furnish lights 
at $63 each, the contract to run seven years, including the remaining four 
years of the contract with ]\Ir. Cluggage, of the company which had failed. 
In May, 1901, the Sullivan Light, Heat and Power Company purchased 
the Citizens Electric Light and Power Company, which was tlie company 

Vol. 1—12 


(nvncd and contn^llcd by Mr. Crawford, the consideration being $10,000. 
Both companies had continued in competition until that time, but the 
plants were now consolidated. In April, 1907, Michael McMonan, of 
Sullivan, and C. R. ]\IcGaughey, of Brazil, purchased the electrict light 
plant, and after operating it for less than a year, on petition of William F. 
Poole, the plant was put into receivership in February, 1908. 

Sullivan Schools. 

The old county seminary was a central institution of the school sys- 
tem at Sullivan for many years, and the building was used for the town 
schools long after it was sold by the county authorities. The public funds 
were insufficient to support free schools more than three or four months 
each year, and during the remaining months of the year some teacher 
would usually conduct a private school. Airs. Jane Booth was one of the 
teachers of the fifties and sixties who taught both public and private 
schools. For the fall term of public school in 1864 Mrs. Booth was chosen 
principal ; jNIiss Lizzie Aloore, first assistant ; ]\Iiss Dora Brouillette, second 
assistant, and Miss Laura Parks, primary. 

The seminary building was hardly habitable at the close of the war, 
and there was not enough money to pay for repairs and the maintenance 
of school, too. Yet the district was unable to provide better accommoda- 
tions for several years. The seminary building was last used during the 
year 1871-72, when a free school of seven months was taught, with 434 
pupils enrolled, and one principal and five assistants. 

In 1872 school was first taught in the new^ building. That year was 
also notable for the removal of Professor Crawford's seminarv from 


Farmersburg- to Sullivan. The public schools and the normal department 

were conducted together for several years, but this arrangement, although 

it brought a large number of students here from out of town, proved a 

burden upon the common schools, and the partnership between Ascension 
Seminary and the public schools was dissolved. 

O. J. Craig was selected as superintendent of the schools in 1880, and 
for the first time in the history of the town there was promise of sufficient 
funds to continue the public schools for nine months. In May, 1882, the 
first class was graduated from the Sullivan high school, consisting of 
James R. Riggs, Addison E. McEneny and C. R. Hinkle. 

The school accommodations became very inadequate during the 
decade of the nineties. In May, 1901, the citizens defeated by a vote of 
327 to 297 a proposition to issue $20,000 in bonds for the building of a 

new schoolhouse. But in January, 1904, an overwhelming majority was 
given in favor of the erection of a high school building, and in the follow- 
ing September the cornerstone of this building was laid. Sullivan now has 
excellent school buildings, both ward and high school. 

Sullivan Landmarks. 

By the processes of time, decay and fire and ruin, our American 
towns quickly cover up the past, and in Sullivan it is hardly possible to 
find any buildings that bear the dignified marks of old age. The court 
house itself is the oldest building of any note, having stood at the center of 
the square for more than a half century. 

In December, 1878, fire destroyed the old National House, about 
which many of the early associations of visitors to Sullivan gathered. It 


liad been in existence since shortly after the founding of the town, and 
had known various proprietors, Sc[uire \'an Fossen being- the last. 

The Hotel ]\IcCammon, which was recently burned, was of much 
later date than the National. It is stated that at the formal opening of 
this hotel, February 14, 1882, nearly all the business men and leading 
citizens of town were invited to a sumptuous dinner. 

The two-story building on the east side of the square, with its double 
balconies, was built by Dr. Coffman in 1897, an old frame building being 
removed from the site. 

The Davis House, which is the most modern hotel of the town, was 
built by the Davis brothers, the plans being accepted in the summer of 
1897 and construction work begun shortly afterwards. Its ground dimen- 
sions were 90 by 35 feet, and it was designed to have 48 sleeping rooms on 
the second and third floors. The front is of stone and pressed brick. 

The business block on the south side of the square, which was subject 
to the ravages of the fire of January, 1909, was built more than thirty-five 
years before. The laying of the foundation of this block, according to an 
item of September, 1873, was commemorated with a salute of thirteen 
guns, one for each business house in the row. The salute was in cliarge 
of Colonel McBride, chief of the local artillery corps. 

To those who have been familiar with the growth of buildings about 
the square, the folio \\ing paragraph from the Democrat of ^lay 13, 1884, 
will prove of some interest: The store room now occupied by T. K. 
Sherman & Son was the first brick business house in Sullivan. It was 
built by William Wilson. It has been remodeled for its present purposes. 


large plate glass windows put in, vestibules and side lights, and handsome 
walnut doors. 

The passing of another landmark drew forth the following comment 
from Mr. Briggs in the issue of June 28, 1876: The old tavern on the 
corner of Section and Washington streets is being torn down, the present 
proprietor, James B. Patten, intending to remodel the main building and 
to move off the attachments. At an early day this locality was a focus 
of business and trade. Air. Gray had a store house on the opposite corner. 
and John Bridwell a store on the west side of Section street, while the 
Bamberger store was on the corner south. When we first knew the 
tavern ]\Ir. Dufficy was proprietor, and it was then in its palmiest days. 
Afterwards it passed into the hands of Maguire, who opened a bar in the 
office, and later Scjuire Van Fossen conducted it semi-occasionally until 
within the last few years, when it failed to pay. 

This corner was visited by fire in September, 1884, resulting in the 
destruction of the old house on the southwest corner and the warehouse 
of Crawlev and ]\IcKinley. "If there was an older house in town than 
the two burned last Saturday night, we don't know where they are," 
remarked the Democrat. "Thirty years ago the dwelling was occupied 
by John S. Howard. The other was erected by the late Joseph Gray for 
a store house, and upstairs was located the Democrat office for the first 
two or three years of its existence."* 

* Eeferriiig to the time when the Democrat was publishing in this old 
building, in an issue of 1890 the proprietor of the paper mentioned the use of 
the Washington hand press for printing, and said that copy for the paper Avas 
sometimes cut from an almanac. Mail was still carried on horseback from Merom, 
there were no sidewalks in town, and a polished boot or shoe was rarely seen. 
Except the courthouse, there were only two or three brick houses in the place. 


For over fifty years Barnett Saucerman followed the trade of gun- 
smith in Sullivan, and hunters came from miles around. I^ring-ing- him 
their defective or broken firearms. With the tearing down of his old shop 
at the corner of Broad and Beech streets, in the summer of 1901. passed 
a landmark that had stood for nearly forty years. A few days before the 
old shop was knocked to pieces the venerable gunsmith was photographed 
at the door of the shop. ha\ing a trusty old rifle on his knees. The 
proprietor of the gunshop died June 2J, 1902. at the age of eighty-one. 
He was a native of Coshocton county. Ohio, had learned his trade as a 
boy, and came to Sullivan county in 1847. his first home being on a farm 
near Abbey Mill in Cass township. He served in the 85th Indiana 
Infantry, and was with Sherman's army in the campaign to the sea. 

Chronology of Siillizxin Fiirs in Recent Years. 

April, 1885 — Fire destroyed the Alasonic building, corner of ^lain 
and \\'ashington. and so quickly that the records of the lodge on the third 
floor could not be saved. The town was still without fire protection. The 
loss was between $30,000 and $40,000, the Times office, the American 
House, and the Calvin Taylor law library being among the list of damage 
and ruin. 

September 12, 1886 — Livery stables of Lucas, Russell & Joyce, at 
rear of brick building on the north side of the square, burned. Other 
attempts to start fires indicated incendiarism. 

October i, 1886 — Burning of two frame buildings at the south end 
of the west side of the square causes talk of establishment of fire zone. 


October 29. 1886 — Fire destroyed Johnson's photo gallery on north 
side of square. October 31 — Crowder's hay press and a barn at rear of 
buildings on the west side of the square burned. 

January 11, 1887 — South side corner of Court and Jackson streets 
ruined by fire. July 5 — Planing mill of Hoke & Co. burned; loss, $7,000 
to $ 1 0,000. 

December 14. 1889 — Bauer & Son's flouring mill, near depot, Ijurned, 
total loss being $18,000 to $20,000. 

September 25, 189 1 — In early morning fire l^roke out in Leach ware- 
house, near E. & T. H. depot, extended across right of way to freight 
depot, north to warehouse owned by P. R. Jenkins and ^liss Jennie 
Thornhill, south to the Snow warehouse, and two box cars burned. Total 
loss about $20,000, wdth only $3,000 insurance. 

February 10, 1892 — Sawmill of Mahley and Co. burned, after being 
in operation two years. February 26 — Stivers and Bland pork packing 
house burned, at a loss of several thousand dollars. 

August 12, 1892 — The Sullivan expert fire company disbands after 
seven years' existence. The members have always responded promptlv 
to fire arms, even going beyond the city limits. Dissatisfaction because 
of failure to remit their taxes as provided b}- law. 

November 23, 1899 — Jacob Mahley's sawmill burned; total loss, 

October 21, 1906 — National Bank building damaged by fire to extent 
of several thousand dollars. 

August 13, i9o8^The McCammon Hotel, on the corner of Wash- 
ington and State, gutted by a fire that burned for four hours, leaving all 


of third and most of second and first stories in ruins. Loss on building, 
$12,000; to the proprietor, jNIrs. Hinkle, $4,000. 

September 9, 1908 — Fire of unknown origin, beginning in the hvery 
barn of J. Ed. Blume, on South Alain street, destroyed the hvery stable ; 
loss $2,000, insurance $2,000. The Colonnade Theater, loss $14,000, 
insurance, $8,000; Baptist parsonage, loss $2,200, insurance, $1,600; 
J. B. I\Iullane"s hardware and furniture store, loss $4,600, covered by 
insurance; F. J\I. Douthitt clothing store, loss $8,000, insurance $4,000; 
Central store, loss $4,000, covered by insurance. Total amount of prop- 
erty destroyed was about $40,000. The severe drouth of this season and 
limited water supply accounts for the destructiveness of this fire. 

January 31, 1909 — Fire starts in Herman Schmidt & Co.'s hardware 
store from stove or crossed wires. The water plugs were frozen, much 
time lost in getting them to work, and a strong northeast wind carried the 
fire on until property to the value of more than one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars was consumed. The detail loss was : J. B. ]\Iullane, 
$30,000 stock, $15,000 building; Central Store Co., $25,000 stock; Ben 
Davis and Joe K. Smock, $12,000 building; F. ]\I. Douthitt, $16,000; 
C. H. Edwards, building, $5,000; Herman Schmidt, $8,000 stock; Ella 
Dix, $4,000; Herschel Ford, $4,000 stock, building owned by local com- 
pany, loss $4,000 ; Leonard & Goodman, $4,000 stock, $4,000 buildings ; 
Reed and Batey, $4,000 stock; Dale and Son, $2,000 stock; Sullivan 
Light & Heat Co., $4,500 fixtures and equipments. Insurance carried 
amounted to about $52,000. 


Public Improvements and Grozvth. 

November 3, 1864 — Sidewalk mania is prevailing to an alarming 
extent. Almost every individual }ou meet has a subscription for the 
construction of a plank walk out his street. The most important 
one projected is to reach to the depot and will cost $500. 

March 2^, 1865 — There has never before been such a demand 
for houses to rent, not only dwellings, but business houses, shops, etc. 

February 3, 1875 — J. C. Briggs petitions for continuance of 
Harris street west, and R. H. Crowder for a new street between his 
lot and Charles F. Briggs', due north to a point west of Jackson 
street, thence east to west end of Jackson. (These are the streets 
that meet at the library). 

August 6, 1879 — Court house has no janitor. The sheriff is 
employed to clean up the court room previous to each term of court, 
but it becomes foul before the term ends and thus remains until the 
succeeding term. September 15— Bill Joyce enters upon duties as 

May 5, 1880 — Contract awarded for excavating, grading, slag- 
ging and graveling the streets around the square. 

June 29, 1883 — Most exciting case in court last week was dam- 
age suit of John Fordyce against town for opening Harris street 
west ; was awarded $373 damages. 

July 17, 1883 — Nice brick sidewalks have been put down on 
Court street, south from the square. 

October 12, 1883 — Town board has ordered sidewalks on the 
east side of Broad street and the south side of Gray to the depot. 
The property owners on West Washington street have presented a 
petition agreeing to grade and slag that street next spring if the 
board will rescind order for sidewalks. A petition generally signed 
by property owners in the southeast part of town states that Broad 
street is simply a deep ravine and receptacle for all kinds of rubbish. 

July 4, 1884 — The town has undertaken to put in tile along the 


streets where property owners pay cost of the material. (This order 
rescinded August 15). 

Septenilx-r 26, 1884 — Trouble arises over the order of the board 
to widen the south end of Court street. The town marshal in pur- 
suance of an order from the town board proceeded to remove the 
fences which obstructed the widening. One woman whose grounds 
were exposed by this action penned up all the stock that trespassed 
on them, and among other strap's thus taken in were some hogs be- 
longing to one of the town trustees. (The case got into the courts, 
and by change of venue went first to Greene and then to Knox 
county, and was eventually compromised except with one party). 

April 24. 1885- — A\'est \\'ashington street, after many vexing 
delays, has been graded and graveled. The residents along the street 
are grading the space between the sidewalks and the street, and are 
sowing it with grass seed. The effort will not prove successful if 
cows and hogs continue to roam the streets. 

July I, 1887 — County commissioners have contracted for stone 
walks from the court house to each entrance of the park, to be of 
sawed Bedford stone. 

November 18. 1887 — Contract let for sewer on Broad street 
from Washington street to a point south of the I. & L S. R. R. To be 
built jointly by town and county, at a cost of about $4,000. The 
county is taking part in order to secure drainage for the jail, injunc- 
tion proceedings having been begun to restrain the emptying of 
sewage on a near-by lot. 

August 30, 1888 — The grading of Main street preparatory to 
graveling begun. 

September 9, 1890 — Town board has an engineer employed to 
straighten boundary lines of streets in east part of town. There is 
some antagonism from men whose fences must be removed, but 
fences are useless and unsightl}' since cattle have been kept oft' the 

February 13, 1891 — ^Misfortunes of town in way of damage 


suits have aroused the trustees, and the marshal is now ordered to 
inspect crossings and streets once a week. 

]\Iarch 13, 1891 — The town Ijoard has ordered the improvement 
of Court street, the engineer heing ordered to survey and estabhsh 
the grade and a committee being appointed to determine the style in 
which the work will be done. [March 31 — Town board and com- 
mittee decide to pave Court street with brick, contrarv to the wishes 
of the property owners, who want gravel. 

April 10, 1 89 1 — Bids were received by the town board on April 
10 for the extension of the Broad street sewer. The sewer was made 
necessary by threats of the property owners south of the woolen 
mill to sue the factory owners for allowing the waste to run down the 

August 4, 1891 — The town board has let the contract for gravel- 
ing the streets in the southwest part of town — Jackson from Court to 
Crowder, Crowder street, and Johnson street from Crowder to Bell. 
August 18 — Brick walks ordered on the south side of Jackson street, 
both sides of Crowder street, and both sides of Johnson, west from 
the intersection of Crowder. December 15 — Graveling of Thomp- 
son street and brick walks ordered. 

May 24, 1892 — Contracts let for grading and graveling Court 
street. June 28 — Contract let for graveling from head of Alain 
street to depot. 

August, 1894 — Contract let for graveling North Court and 
Thompson streets. Thanks to energy and management of John L. 
Thompson, West Washington street has been graded to the bridge, 
and \'ineyard hill has been cut down and the bottom filled. Mr. 
Thompson collected some of the money and donated his own time and 
money to the work. 

June 25, 1895 — Graveling ordered done on State street, south 
from Washington to Marion and north from Cochran ; on Section 
street, south from Harris to corporation line ; on Sylvan Dell, from 
Crowder street to corporation line. 


July 13. 1897 — Town board votes to pave with brick the alley 
back of the buiklings on the north side of the square. 

January 30, 1902 — J. 11. Mullane has placed on sale a number 
of lots north of town. April 17 — Town is growing rapidly, changes 
being especially noticeable on East Washington street, where houses 
now extend beyond the old fair grounds. 

July 23, 1903 — Silver Chaney, John C. Chancy, and L. A. 
Stewart purchase for ten thousand dollars 134 acres south of town, 
with the intention of making a new subdivision. 

September 3, 1903 — The town board decides to pave the square 
with brick and remove the hitch racks. (A protest follows against 
brick paving). 

August 4, 1904 — At recent town board meeting, the city engi- 
neer, Richard L. Bailey, made a report of his survey of the sanitary 
and storm sewerage system for that part of town lying west of State 
street. The report has been accepted, and the work will be per- 
formed under the law empowering a city to assess the cost of such 
improvements against property owners. September 8 — The board 
having set a time for hearing objections to the proposed sewerage 
construction, not a citizen appeared to enter his objection. 

September 15, 1904 — Auction sale of lots in South Sullivan 
results in sale of 99 at total of $7,592.50. November 3 — Walks of 
vitrified brick to be built from Court street to new Southern Indiana 

January 19, 1905 — Sewer system, after many revisions and the 
protest of many citizens, adopted. February 23 — All bids from con- 
tractors for construction of sewer system rejected. 

August 17, 1905 — Street Commissioner Scott appears before the 
county commissioners asking that they keep the hitch racks clean 
and put in cement curb, gutter and sidewalk around square. 

Jul}- 5, 1905 — The district around the E. & T. H. depot becom- 
ing quite a business section and new buildings going up. Some 
older residents remember when this was the principal business part 


of town, and trade centered in and around the half dozen stores 
near the depot. Recently only shacks have existed in "depot town." 

September 21, 1905 — The town board decides to pave with brick 
Washington street from Section street to the E. & T. H. railroad, 
Jackson street from Section to State street, and also the pulpit square ; 
and to lay cement walks on the north side of Beech, from section to 
Broad, on the west side of Court, from Graysville to Wall, and on the 
east side of Cross, from Gra}-sville to Washington streets. 

April 25, 1907 — Town board orders the paving of North Court 
street with brick, and the improvement of Troll street with crushed 
rock, cement walks, gutters and curbing. 

Siillk'aii Cemetery. 

The first cemetery of Sullivan was abandoned over forty years ago. 
It was located within the corporation limits. It is said that when Sullivan 
was platted, no provision was made for a burying ground. The first 
death was in the family of H. K. W'ilson. It was suggested, as the only 
suitable place at the time, that the child be buried in broken ground 
southeast of town. 

The site was out-lot No. 12, of the original town plat, a little less 
than two acres. Broad street was on the west side, and the cemetery 
ran south from Harris street. 

After a quarter of a century the old ground was filled up. The 
location was unsatisfactory, as the town had by that time grown around 
it. An association was formed to locate and lay oil a new cemeter}-, and 
in the spring of 1867 selected the ridge west of town on the old Hughes 
farm. This point, when the county seat was located at Sullivan, had been 


designated as tlie exact geograpliical center of the county. This fact 
suggested the name fi)r the lnn\ving ground, "Center Ridge," the name 
which now apjjcars carved in the stone arch of the new entrance tn this 
heautifid God's Acre. In the southwest corner of Center Ridge is a 
row of stones marking the graves of some who had tirst rested in the 
old cemetery. The bodies were removed from tlie old to the new ceme- 
tery, but in some cases the relatives and friends of the deceased could not 
be found and the town trustees bought the lots in the southw^est corner 
of the cemetery for the graves of those w ho had no relatives and friends 
to attend to the removal. 

Center Ridge occupies a high ground above lUick creek. There 
are many native trees, and little artificial landscape gardening was needed 
to produce the cjuiet beauty that should adorn the home of the dead. 
Several years after the cemetery was laid out, rose bushes and other 
shrubbery were set out, and the beginning thus made has been continued. 
A sidewalk was built from town to the bridge over Buck creek, and at 
the present time a cement walk leads to the new' gateway, and a new 
concrete bridge will also be constructed over Buck creek. In December, 
1893. it was reported that the trustees of the cemetery association liad 
expended between three and four thousand dollars in grading and gravel- 
ing drives in the cemetery, in making lots with stoneware posts and 
clearing the north end of the grounds. The following year, the manage- 
ment of the cemetery was made more systematic, rules being made for 
the lining and grading of lots, planting of vines, shrubs and trees, all to 
be done under the supervision of the superintendent. 

About 1896 twelve acres additional ground was bought, on the west 


side of the first plat. The cost of this new ground was $3,584.75. ar.d the 
cost of surveying", fencinq- and planting of trees was about $250 more. 

A few years ago there existed in Sullivan an organization known as 
the Literature Club. Rev. Bartlett, pastor of the Presbyterian church, 
was the leader in the movement. The members studied and read the 
standard works of English poetry, drama and fiction. The last meeting 
of the club was held in June, 1890. In 1893 a meeting at the home of 
Judge Briggs took steps to reorganize, but the plans seem to have been 
somewhat changed, for during the following winter the Sullivan His- 
torical Club took its place and studied the history of the United States. 
It is of interest that on the occasion of the club banquet at the home of 
Judge Briggs, in February, 1894, Mr. A. G. McNabb introduced a dis- 
cussion of the needs of library facilities for the work which the club was 
doing, and this was followed by a talk from Judge Briggs, in which he 
suggested an organized movement to obtain a library. The topic was a 
favorite one among the club members during their subsequent meetings. 

The coming of the Van Amberg circus to Sullivan in i9or) recalled 
an interesting bit of pioneer history. The original circus of this name was 
the first traveling show, it was said, to exhibit in Sullivan. The story 
was that when the advance agent appeared to engage a site for the tent, 
he found none available that was large enough, but he ad\ertised the 
circus and went away. When the wagons of the circus drove into town 
on the appointed day, they could find no place to pitch their tent. The 
county commissioners were just beginning to clear the ground for the 
court house, and the versatile circus manager offered to clear the site if he 


might be allowed to pitch his tents there. The bargain was made, and 
some of the citizens took part in the arduous frolic which the circus men 
made of clearing of¥ the brush and trees. 

The pioneer days of Sullivan \vcre recalled in an issue of the Demo- 
crat in February, 1906, in speaking of ^Ir. William Catlin, whose parents 
had moved to the county about 1823. Air. Catlin recollected seeing In- 
dians pass along the trail which crossed the site of Sullivan town. This 
route was sufificiently used by the Indians, who. of course, walked single 
tile, to keep the trail worn hard and smooth. At the day of the first sale 
of town lots in Sullivan a large crowd of settlers stood on the northwest 
corner of the square. The day was rainy and it was difficult to find a 
spot which was not covered with w'ater, and Air. Catlin. with others, took 
their stand on a log which lay across a pool of water near the auctioneer. 



David Thomas in his "Travels in the West," writing about 1818. has 
the following about the county seat of Sullivan county: "The beautiful 
bluff above Turtle creek, now called Alerom, has become the seat of 
justice for Sullivan county; and was selected by commissioners appointed 
under an act of the legislature. The agent, who was authorized to sell 
the lots, makes the following remarks in his advertisement : 

'' Tt is situated on the east bank of the river, thirty-five miles 
above Vincennes, on that elevated ground known by the name of The 
Bluff', the highest bank of the Wabash from its mouth to the north 
[here the author explains that it should have been written east "line 
of the state"] line of the state. The river washes the base of this 
high land one mile. Freestone [sandstone] and a equality of [im- 
pure] limestone appear in the bank in great abundance. Springs in 
every direction around the town are discovered. 

" T<>om the most elevated point of the bluff', the eye can be 
gratified with the charming view of La Alotte prairie, immediately 
below in front ; and with Ellison and Union prairies on the right 
and left ; the whole stretching along the river a distance of not less 
than thirty miles, and all now rapidly settling. In the rear of this 


Vol. I— I'', 


beautiful site, is a flourishing settlement of twenty or thirty farmers, 
three miles east of the town. 

'' 'Gill's prairie, south three miles, has at present a handsome 
population of industrious farmers. 

'* 'A mile and a half from the town, a mill will soon be erected on 
Turtle creek by a ]\Ir. Bennett. — June 27, 1817.' " 

Such was the beginning of the quaint old town on the east side of 
the Wabash, which during the early years of Sullivan county was the 
"port of entry" and chief emporium of the county. One is impressed by 
the natural advantages of the site as a stronghold of defense. Had the 
settlement of the count}- been followed by wars for the possession and 
defense of the country, this site w"ould have proved a capital "burg" or 
citadel, such as have proved scenes of glorious military achievements in 
different epochs and other lands. From the towering bluft' the guns of the 
defenders could not only have swept the river, but would have commanded 
the approaches on all sides. 

The original plat of ]\Ierom was on the plateau along the river. 
The first street on the west was called High, and then came Second, 
Third, Fourth and Fifth. On the south side of the first plat was Kane 
street, and north in succession lay Walnut, Market, Fetter, Poplar, White, 
Cherry, Coleman. 

Of the early history of Merom few definite records exist. During the 
twenty-five years, until 1842, when it was the county seat, it was the 
most important town between Terre Haute and A'incennes. The periodi- 
cal sessions of court brought lawyers and citizens to the court house, and 
on these occasions Merom was a scene of much activity and social plea- 


sures. The export and import commerce of the time was transacted 
largely through the port of Merom. Here was the headquarters for the 
fleet of flatboats which the merchants of the day had built each season, 
and which in the spring were sent down stream loaded with grain, 
pork and other products of this locality. Business and official importance 
combined to make Merom a commercial, social and political center, 
around which have gathered associations that will always lend a special 
charm and interest to the locality. 

Some fanciful explanations have been made in explanation of the 
name Merom. The choice of the name seems, however, to have been 
both a natural and happy one. Merom meaning high ground, and the 
name of the highest lake along the Jordan and the scene of Joshua's 
battle with the assembled kings, was not inaptly chosen to designate the 
high sandstone bluff by the Wabash. 

The removal of the county seat in 1842 and the building of 'the 
Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad in 1854 were two events which com- 
bined to deprive Merom of much of its former prestige. Each year after 
the railroad came saw a decrease in the river traffic, and soon the town 
had only its mills and stores as the nucleus of former prosperity. The 
Merom mills were long an institution, attracting the patronage of hun- 
dreds of farmers from far and near. Cushman and Huff built the saw- 
mill here in 1845, ^"^l the following year added the grist mill. During 
the fifties the plant was owned by Seth Cushman, son of the original 
proprietor, and was operated after a time only as a flour mill. This 
enterprising miller did much to sustain the commercial reputation of 
Merom during the years when the town was isolated from railroads. The 


establislinicnt of L'niou Christian College in the late fifties also created an 
institution that has had an important bearing upon the subsequent pros- 
perity of the town. 

Meroni was incorporated as a town in 1866. The petition for incor- 
poration was laid liefore the commissioners in Jnne of that year. The 
preliminary census gave 350 inhabitants in the proposed corporate limits. 
The plat of the town showing the limits of town jurisdiction included the 
"island," in the river near the foot of the bluff, and containing thirty- 
three acres. This island was the alleged rendezvous of a whiskey peddler 
and his patrons, it being his practice to sell bad whiskey from "the gun- 
boat moored at the foot of the island." The bootlegger claimed to be out- 
side of municipal, state and federal law, and hence the inhabitants of the 
proposed town thought to eliminate his nefarious business by extending 
the jurisdiction over his haunts. 

The narrow-gauge railroad was completed to the Wabash in 1886, 
and the first trains crossed the river in that }ear. The bridge is over a 
mile south of Alerom, and the railroad station established for the benefit 
of the townspeople is so far away that Merom is still practically isolated 
from the railroad. In November. 1887, the county surveyor laid out a 
town near the bridge, and this has since been known as Riverton. though 
it IS really a suburb of the old town* on the bluff. 

The crown of the Alerom bluff", overlooking the river, has always been 
a town commons, though the ownership and control of the propertv were 
subjects of litigation in the courts a few years ago. A grove of walnut 
and other lofty forest trees, standing in their native prime, is the chief 
adornment of the site, and a more picturesque natural park could hardly 


be imagined. The spot has many associations for the native residents of 

the town, and has been the scene of picnics, political meetings, and other 

celebrations from almost the first years of the county's history. 

This park has for several years been the grounds on which the 

Merom Bluft Chautauqua is held. If we except the Union Christian 

College, the Chautauqua may be considered the principal institution of 

the town at this time. Every year thousands of people gather in these 

beautiful surroundings, and amid the perfect influences of nature enjoy 

the best in literature, oratory and music and intellectual and religious 
culture. The first Chautauqua was held during August, 1905. Among 

the speakers and entertainers at these assemblies may be mentioned Eu- 
gene Debs, Eli Perkins, William J. Bryan, Joseph Folk, LaFollette, Till- 
man (pitchfork Ben), Governor Yates, and others of note in the political 
and literary world. In 1908 it was estimated that nearly fifty thousand 
people visited the Chautauqua. 


An advertisement in the A'incennes JVcsfcni Stiii, in the issue of 
June 10, 1815, makes it possible to assign a definite date for the founding 
of the town of Carhsle. This advertisement is a document of much his- 
torical value, and reads as follows : 


Lots in the town of Carlisle will be sold on Friday, the 23rd 
inst., sale to commence at 9 o'clock a. m. This town is situated in 
the flourishing settlement of Busseron — the public scjuare is spacious, 
laid off at right angles, well accommodated with streets and alleys. 
The town is within one mile of Eaton's mill (formerly Ledger- 
wood's), twenty-five miles from A'incennes — the country, water, and 
the special command of situation as to centrality, has long been 

looked forward to as the most eligible site for a flourishing [town] 
in this section of country.- — The crowded population of the neighbor- 
hood gives superior advantages, and as to land, water and navigation 
no situation in the territory will bear a comparison — the lengthy 
credit of two years, viz: one-half at the expiration of one year and 
one-half at the expiration of two years, will be given. — Due atten- 
tion at the town of Carlisle will be given on the dav of sale bv the 

proprietors. — June 7, 1815. 

James Sproul, 

Samuel Ledgerwood^ 

WiLLiA:\r McFarland. 



The site of Carlisle was originally owned by Samuel Ledgerwood, 
and was sold to the two other proprietors named for the purpose of 
founding a town. A survey and platting would naturally precede the 
sale of lots, and hence it is possible to fix the date of the founding of 
Carlisle as the early summer of 181 5, only a few months after the close 
of the second war with Great Britain. 

The original plat of the town covered twenty-five blocks, the streets 
being laid out at angles of 45 degrees. The public square in the center 
was dedicated for the use of the court house, but no such building was 
ever erected there, and after many years it is now occupied by the hand- 
home two-story school building, accommodating the school children of the 
town and the adjoining districts. Beginning on the northeast side of 
the plat, the street bounding the original townsite is Saline. Then came, 
parallel to it, Hackett, Lewis, Eaton, Harrison and Vincennes. From 
northwest to southeast the streets are — Turman, Gill, Ledgerwood, Alex- 
ander, Singer and West. The railroad station is at the east corner of the 

The first store was opened in this town in 181 5, that being the tra- 
ditional date. No exact record of institutions and affairs of that period 
is now obtainable, but its position as county seat and the presence of the 
milling industries nearby on Busseron were sufficient to cause a steady 
growth of village activities during the years following the founding of 
the town. The building of a frame Methodist church in 1818 was another 
milepost in the town's history. But the removal of the county seat to 
Merom about that time proved a serious obstacle to the increasing pros- 
perity of Carlisle, and for over thirty years the annals of the town consist 


chieriy in tlie life and daily activities of that gronp of leading families who 

durins;- the past century have been identified with this town. 

The most important event in the history of Carlisle after its founding 

and its brief importance as county seat was the building of the Evansville 
& Crawfordsville Railroad in 1854. This brought to test the real public 

spirit and enterprise of the inhabitants. The railroad was built with the 

aid of large subscriptions from all the counties through which it passed, 

and after the people of Carlisle and vicinity had already taxed themselves 

for the amount first demanded, the builders of the railroad announced their 

decision to run the railroad by a route whose nearest point was three 

miles from town. It was probably in the nature of a threat, made to 

secure more money. When protests proved unavailing, some of the 

wealthier citizens of Carlisle subscribed a fund of $30,000 as an additional 

subsidy. Their action secured the railroad. The names of the sixteen 

men who subscribed to this fund are a representative list of the business 

men and leading citizens of that time, and are as follows : Joshua Alsop, 

William D. Blackburn, James D. Riggs, James K. O'Haver, James H. 

Paxton, Garrett Bros., Smith Greenfield, Alonzo Cotton, Joseph W. 

Briggs, William Alsop, William Collings. \\'illiam Price, Josiah Wolfe, 

Benson Riggs, Jacob Hoke, Alurphy & Helms. 

An era of progress following the advent of the railroad, which made 

the village a shipping point for the rich agricultural region lying about 

the town, and resulted in the establishment of new lines of business and 

the general improvement of town. The next step was the incorporation 

of the town. The petition which was presented to the board of commis- 


20 1 

sioners in ^larch, 1856, asking for 

following citizens : 

Henry Hill 
Peter E. Warner 
Samuel J. Ledgerwoocl 
Benson Riggs, Sr. 
J. D. Whitaker 
Franklin Deckerman 
W. A. Watson 
Mayo Jones 
James S. Brengle 
W. M. Akin 
Chester O. Davis 

H. N. Helms 
William Alsop 

J. S. McClennan 

Peter Hawk 

Smith Greenfield 

John Buckley 

Thomas E. Ashley 

W. H. Mayfield 

\Y. R. Hinkle 

Benson Riggs, Jr. 

incorporation, was signed hy the 

A. W. Springer 
F. J\I. Akin 
Hugh S. Ross 
J. A. Curtner 
Isom Shannon 
John F. Curry 
Spencer C. Weller 
W. D. Blackburn 
John Ledgerwood 
J. A. Beck 
J. ]\I. Parvin 

Alexander Trigg 
Lewis Gott 
S. M. Curry 
John Martin 
John S. Davis 
James D. Riggs 
John Trigg 
John D. Simerell 
Joshua Davis 
Joshua Alsop 
Hosea Bucklev 

Josiah Wolfe 
John ^I. Hinkle 
The vote of the citizens residing within the limits of the town on 


the question of incorporation, which was held ]\Iarch 25, showed an al- 
most unanimous sentiment in favor of town government. Sixty votes in 
all were cast, 57 being- affirmative, and only one in direct negative, the 
other two being somewhat non-committal. The first town officials, elected 
in the following April, were : Smith Greenfield, James ]\I. Parvin, Aaron 
W. Springer, John S. Davis, and John F. Curry, trustees ; John Alartin, 
clerk ; Smith W. Buckley, marshal. 

The first important undertaking of the new town government 
the building of a suitable schoolhouse. Up to that time the school chil- 
dren of Carlisle attended a district school, but henceforth the town school 
system was to prevail. The board of trustees accepted plans for the 
building of the town school in July, 1856, and the four-room brick school 
building which stood on the public square until supplanted by the present 
building was completed in 1857. 

The money for constructing the schoolhouse of 1857 was raised 

partly by taxation and partly by private donations. A few years ago 

when the present building was in process of construction, the Sullivan 

Democrat published some historical reminiscences concerning the first 

schoolhouse, and also some documents in the possession of jNIrs. James 

E. Speake, among which was the following receipt issued to John Alartin : 

"$120. Town of Carlisle in Sullivan county, Ind. Received of John 
Martin one hundred and twenty dollars in John Davis receipts, it being 

the amount subscribed by him and wife as loan to build a schoolhouse in 

the town of Carlisle, which amount is to be refunded without interest, 

either in the way of paying special taxes assessed by the board of trustees 

of said town, or their successors in office, or a pro rata proportion of 


each year's special taxes collected. Done by order of the board of trus- 
tees of the town of Carlisle, Oct. 15, 1858. (Signed) James M. Parvin, 
Pres. Attest : John ]\Iartin, clerk.'' 

The first school register, also in the possession of Mrs. Speake, 
showed that school was first held in the new building, December 14, 1857, 
and the enrollment of male scholars was of the following, some of whom 
are now dead and others well known citizens of this and other communi- 
ties : William Lewis, Harvey Ford, Elliott Halstead, Aaron Holder, 
Richard Parvin, \\'illiam Jenkins, Anthony Springer, John Warner, John 
Henderson, Charles Riggs, William Simpson, Lewis Benefield, Marcellus 
Benefield, Charles Alayfield, Richard Mayfield, Henry Ott, Elijah Ott, 
Oscar Hall, Emory Ashley, Ransom Akin, John Owen, Quinc}' Ashley, 
Jacob Hasselbach, John Rodenbeck, Richard Jones, William Riggs, David 
Jones, Fleming Jones, Henry Hill, Charles Hill, Charles Davis, William 
Parvin, Lucian Johnson, John R. Adams, Edward Adams, John Wolfe, 
Alonzo Penzen, Eldridge Ellis, John Timmerman, John Curtner, Robert 
Ellis, Alelvin Ellis, George Gannon. 

The brick work on the old building was done by Jacob Starner, who 

was noted at that time for his skill as brick mason. The brick was made 

on the Starner farm, near Morris Chapel, and their excellent condition 

when the building was torn down to make room for the new one, nearly 

half a century later, showed how well brick could be made at that time. 

John Runkles and John Scanting did the carpenter work on the old 

In May, 1903. the citizens of Carlisle voted to erect a new school 
building, of modern proportions and design, which might accommodate 


tlie school population of this vicinity for years to come. The building 
was planned with two stories and basement, pressed brick and stone trim- 
mings, with an assembl}' hall 30 by 75 feet. The construction of the new 
building began with the close of the school year, and early in 1904 it was 
completed and ready for use. 

^^'ilhin the present centur}- much prosperity has come to Carlisle as 
a result of the coal mining industry. In 1905 the Carlisle Clay and Coal 
Company was organized, largely of eastern capital, and with Solomon 
Dieble general manager. Its large purchases and leases of mining lands 
and the sinking of a coal shaft near the town caused the building of many 
new houses in the town, and a general revival and improvement in busi- 
ness affairs. 



The town of Shelburn was named for Paschal Shelburn, one of the 
early settlers of Curry township, who had purchased a large tract of land 
when he came here in 1818, and lived there until his death at the age of 
eighty. He was a bachelor. In 1855, al^out a year after the completion 
of the railroad, he platted a town on some of his land. There were 33 lots 
in the original plat, 24 being on the east side of the railroad and the 
remainder on the west side. 

The coal mining industr)- has always been the main source of profit 
and support for the town, and the .'shelburn Coal Company a quarter of 
a century ago was one of the large companies of the county. The town 
had been incorporated, a graded school had been organized, and there 
were a grist mill and the various stores and professional interests of a 
village of several hundred population. During the nineties the impression 
prevailed that the coal deposits of this vicinit}- were worked out, and 
the progress of the town was seriously checked until it was discovered 



that the better veins of coal la}^ deeper than those already worked. Since 
then a considerable part of the coal industry of the county has centered 
about Shelburn, and the population has grown rapidly during the present 
century. The Mammoth Coal Company was one of the large concerns 
that gave employment to many miners, for whose accommodation nearly 
a hundred houses were built south of the old town. 

During 1904 and 1905 several notable developments occurred. An 
addition \\as built to the old school house, making the building nearly 
three times its original capacity. A chemical fire engine was bought for 
the protection of property. In the fall of 1905 the Presbyterian and 
Christian denominations efifected church organization. The oldest 
churches are the i\Iethodist and the Baptist, the latter having been organ- 
ized about 1 87 1. In February, 1906, the Baptist Sunday school celebrated 
its 36th anniversary, commemorating its organization in the old school- 
house with forty members, of whom the only survivor at this time was 
J. P. Siner, who was the first secretary. This was the first religious 
organization in the town, and was followed about a year later by the 
organization of the Baptist church. 

Shelburn has been rather in advance of the towns of its size in 
municipal improvement. It has made the beginning of a sewer system, 
its streets are lighted, and with good schools and churches it afifords many 
advantages to its residents. Shelburn has had several destructive fires — 
that of July 7, 1885, when the Linn and Cuppy buildings were burned; 
on December 22, 1893, burning Siner's hardware store; and November 
15, 1905, which caused a loss of about $5,000. 




Farmersburg as a business and population center originated with 
the building of the Evansville and Terre Haute Railroad. James Cum- 
mins and George Hopewell laid out the village in 1853 on forty acres of 
land which lay west of the railroad. The founding of the Ascension 

Seminary here just before the war was the principal institution of the 
town, and the basis of its growth and prosperity. The word Ascension 
was used to designate the place quite as often as Farmersburg. Heap and 
Crawford laid out an addition to the village east of the railroad, and 
about that time the town was incorporated. When Captain Craw^ford 
moved the seminary in 1872, the departure almost caused the death of 
the town. One member of the Jennings family moved to the town about 
1872, and a little later ran for the office of councilman. Only twentv- 
two citizens were entitled to vote, and he received 21 votes, the other 
suffragist remaining at home. There were about fifteen or sixteen 
families in town then. Some of the town lots which a few years before 
had brought a good price came near reverting to farm land. About 1903 
Church Tavlor laid off an addition of fortv acres west of the original 
plat, and soon afterward Farmersburg began to grow, and has since been 
on a permanent basis of steady prosperity. 

On the site of the old seminary stands the present Farmersburg 
public school building, constructed of brick and concrete, the cornerstone 
of Mhich was laid September i, 1905, and which was dedicated for use 
on Washington's birthday. 1906, the principal address being delivered by 
Capt. W. T. Crawford. At the close of 1907 a comparative review of the 


public scliools included the contrast between the old crowded four-room 
buildino- and the new schoolhouse of ten rooms, the increase of enroll- 
ment from zy^ to 385, from 35 high school pupils to 85, and a faculty of 
eip^ht teachers. 

In 1892 the Presbyterians of the village and vicinity erected a small 
church just east of the railroad, the dedication services being held about 
November ist. In 1906 the church had increased so that a new building 
was needed, and with the expenditure of about four thousand dollars the 
church was remodeled into a pretty little edifice of Bedford stone with 
cathedral glass Vvindows, and in May was dedicated by the Rev. George 

On January 20, 1907, the new Central Christian church was dedi- 
cated. This is a stone church, of modern design and pleasing archi- 
tectural lines. 

In 1902 were organized the two banks of the town, the Citizens 
State Bank and the Farmersburg Bank, \\'. S. Baldridge being at the 
head of the former organization. 


Hymera, the principal center of Jackson township, was platted as 
a townsite about 1870. The site had during the pioneer period of the 
county been selected by the Alethodists for the Bethel church, and a log 
building once stood within the limits of the present town, where the early 
settlers assembled for religious worship. On Busseron creek, southeast 
of the town, was a grist mill, said to have been erected in 1829. The first 


school of the townshi]) was probably held in a building in the vicinity of 
the town. On the west was one of the first coal mines of the county, 
owner by H. K. and Harvey Wilson. The coal was used chiefly by 
blacksmiths, and was hauled in wagons to all parts of the county. 

William Pitt was the owner of the land on which Hymera was 
founded, and when Xathan llinkle platted the site the name Pittsburg 
was selected, in honor of the local resident and also perhaps suggested 
by the great coal center of Pennsylvania. Coal operations on a more ex- 
tensive scale than in pioneer times had begun here when the town was 
laid ofif. Robert Linn had a general store, and for some years the store 
and postofifice, and two or three shops, comprised the business of the 
place. Linn's store was on the site now occupied by the Odd Fellows 
block. When the postoffice was established the name Pittsburg was not 
accepted by the department. The origin of the name Hymera is credited 
to John Badders, who was postmaster. He had an adopted daughter 
wlaose name was Alary and who was tall in figure, and the name he 
suggested for the postofifice was significant of these facts. The change 
of name for the village was accomplished in 1890. In April of that year 
a petition from nearly all the voters of Pittsburg was laid before the 
county commissioners asking that the name of the town as recorded on 
the plat be changed to Hymera. A short time previously, on the opening 
of the new mine at Alum Cave, the new town laid out there was called 
New Pittsburg, while the Hymera community in distinction was referred 
to as Old Pittsburg. The resulting confusion brought about the change 
in name. About this time a branch line of railroad reached up to the coal 

Vol. 1—14 


mines in this vicinitw and since that time the coal industry has been su- 
l)reme here, and Ilymera has grown rapidlw 

With the consoHdation of the coal mines and the heavy o])erations 
which began with the opening- of the present decade, Hymera expanded 
into a town. In 1902 it was incorporated, and in July the first election 
for town officers was held. 

One of the memorable days in the history of Hymera was the cele- 
bration in October, 1904. known as "Mitchell day."" in honor of the presi- 
dent of the national mine workers. The crowd in town was estimated at 
over seven thousand. A delegation met Air. Mitchell at Terre Haute, 
and the local procession was made up of the K. of P. band, the labor 

organizations, the school children. The ceremonies of the day centered 

about the unveiling of a monument to Hinkle. the Revolutionary 

soldier (see sketch) who was buried in the ]I\mera cemetery. About a 

year before the movement had been started to raise funds for stich a 

memorial, and the subscriptions had been gathered and the monument 

set in place for this occasion. Hon. James S. Barcus, a great-grandson 
of the patriot, delivered an address, and Miss Mamie Asbury. a great- 
granddaughter, assisted in the unveiling. The monument is fifteen feet 
high, representing a Revolutionary soldier at "parade rest." The inscrip- 
tion is "Nathan Hinkle. born June 7, 1749. died December 25, 1848." 
The other events of the day were held in the Zink grove, where speeches 
were made by Rev. x\. P. Asbury and Robert W. Miers and John C. 
Chaney, and the principal address of the afternoon was delivered by 
John Mitchell. 


In the fall of 1905 John Mitchell was reported to have said that 
Plymcra was the neatest mining town in America, with more and better 
sidewalks according to its size than any town in the cotmty, and many 
improvements indicating a progressive spirit among the citizens. There 
were five church organizations, the ^lethodist. Baptist, Presbyterian, 
United Brethren and Christian, the first two having good buildings, while 
the Presbyterians and U. B. were preparing to build. A tive-ruom school 
building had proved inadequate, and a four-room addition was added in 
the summer of 1905. The Hymera State Bank, which had been organized 
in December, 1903, as the Bank of Llymera, by S. AI. Patton and R. L 
Ladd, was reorganized as a state bank in January, 1906, with Mr. Ladd 
as president and Mr. Patton cashier. 


The railroad station between Carlisle and Sullivan, established a few 
years after the Ijuilding of the railroad, was given its name in honor of 
an early merchant and physician of Carlisle. The town was platted in 
t868 by W. P. Walter. A newspaper item of July. 1870, stated that the 
village contained one store, one cooper shop, a blacksmith, wagon and 
shoe shop, and some eighteen or twenty dwellings. Also a graded school 
was to be opened in the fall. A mission branch of the Sullivan Baptist 
church was organized at Paxton, June 27. 1886, by Rev. D. B, Miller, 
with A. R. Angle moderator and W. S. Smith clerk. The Church of 
Christ was built at Paxton in 1896, this being a branch of the Providence 
church south of town. The brick schoolhouse, which is a central school 


accommodating" several districts, was erected in 1906. In June of that 
year, just before the commencement exercises of the schools of the town- 
ship were held in the Providence church, the former schoolhouse was 
burned. This building- was in bad condition, and for some years had 
been a fruitful source of contention in the neighborhood. 

Kczc Lchaiion. 

The village of New Lebanon, though little more than a cross-roads 
hamlet and railroad station, with a few stores, churches and school, has 
had a noteworthy history and in other ways than commercially has in- 
fluenced and wrought upon the social and moral welfare of the county. 
For many years its relations to the county at large comprehended a well 
defined and etTective position as an educational center, and also a promi- 
nence derived from its acknowledged place as the center of Methodist 
activities and influence in the county. These relations have been else- 
where described, but aside from them New Lebanon's history may be 
briefly recalled. 

The site of the town was originally owned by James !Mason, Jesse 
Haddon, Robert Burnett and Thomas Springer, each one giving ten acres 
to make the plat. Thomas Springer kept the first store, and in 1836 was 
established the first postoffice. At one time a saloon existed in the town, 
but it was the only one and had a brief existence, being inconsistent with 
the moral attitude of the town. 

After the academy ceased to exist many of its ideals were continued 
in the public schools. The building, itself in which the academy was 


taug-lit was used l)y the township for the village schoolhouse, and is still 
standing haek of the handsome hriek sehoolhouse that was erected a few 
years since. During the seventies the old academy building was con- 
sidered one of the most commodious school buildings in the county. 


About 1850 Lafayette Stewart established a store four miles from 
jNIerom on the State road. He also procured a postoffice for this vicinity, 
and he became postmaster and delivered the mail at his store. Joseph 
Gray, Sr., was the owner of the land in this vicinity and was probablv 
owner of the store. He was also proprietor of a woolen mill near by, 
and for these reasons the postoffice was named Graysville. The village 
has never been incorporated. During the seventies it had a population 
of about 100. Robert Carrithers was the merchant of that time. At an 
earlier date more than one store was kept at a time. The physicians of 
thirty years ago were A. N. and S. D. Weir and Arbaces Cushman. 

Graysville has always been a religious center. The Methodists built 
a church there during the fifties, and the Presbyterians were established 
there over thirty years ago. The Presbyterian church was dedicated 
December 10, 1871, by Rev. J. P. Fox of Carlisle. 


During the present decade the town of Pleasantville in Jefiferson 
township has become an active center for the coal mining industry. Sev- 
eral companies secured acreage in this vicinity, and a considerable num- 
ber of miners lived and worked in the shafts in and about Pleasantville. 


The workin.y- of the coal deposits in this locahty is an old story, coal hav- 
ing- heen taken ont hy "slope" and "stripping" processes by some of the 
early residents, among- them lacing- the O'Havers and Timmermans. Jesse 
Beck, James Maytield, James Harvey, Nathan Hinkle, Elias Newkirk were 
among the other first residents of this vicinity. Elias Newkirk bnilt a 
blacksmith shop jnst sonth of the village site many }-ears ago. and his 
son. F. AL Newkirk, was the village blacksmith until within recent years. 
A steam mill was constructed early in the sixties, and this was the real 
nucleus of the village of Pleasantville. 

\Mien the townsite was laid ofif a few years later it was named for 
Pleasant O'Haver. who was the first postmaster and who also at the time 
had become owner of the mill. Jackson Hinkle and W. P. O'Haver were 
also early postmasters and merchants. In 1871 a two-story brick school- 
house was built. The citizens took much pride in their school, and the 
record of the township in education stood high at a time when free school 
facilities were very imperfect in the county. 

Cass Village. 

The village of Cass, in the township of the same name, was laid out 
along the line of the narrow-gauge railroad in the summer of 1880. The 
postoffice from the first has been known as Cass, but the village for some 
vears was called lUiell, named in honor of a railroad man. The "'eneral 
store of Pope and Usrey was the principal business establishment for a 
number of years. Dr. N. H. Brown, as postmaster and physician, was 
also prominent in the early afifairs of the village. It was four years after 


the founding- of the village before a religious service was held there. Rev. 
J. H. Meteer preaching there in September, 1884. 


Dugger, near the east line of Cass townshiji, originated in the popu- 
lation and community growth that often center about coal mines. A coal 
operator named Dugger had a large mine on the "narrow gauge" railroad 
about twcnt}'-hve years ago, and his name was given to the little village' 
that was formed at that point. Dugger has ever since been a coal town. 
The X'andalia Coal Company about the beginning of this century ac(|uired 
control of most of the mines in this vicinity, and about 1903 the village 
entered upon a period of great progress. A movement was begun to in- 
corporate the village, and the census, taken in August, 1903, preliminary 
to the election, showed the population to be 757, there being 172 heads of 
families. The townsite, to which some extensive ad(litit)ns had been re- 
cently made, covered about four hundred acres. \\'hen the matter of in- 
cor]~)oration was submitted to the voters in October, it was defeated b}- a 
majority of sixteen, said to be the result of opposition on the part of the 

Some of the important improvements in the village made about this 
time were the erection of the Odd Fellows' building, the founding of the 
Dugger Enterprise (October 2, 1903), and the dedication of the M. E. 
church (June 19, 1904). It was estimated in the summer of 1905 that 
the population of the village was 1,200, most of it the result of the growth 
of the previous four years. There were then about twenty stores and 


merchandise houses, and the Christians and ^Methodists both had churches. 
The State bank was estabhshed in July, 1904, by Joseph Moss. 

The movement to incorporate the village has recently succeeded. At 
an election held January 2, 1909, 147 votes were cast for and 40 against 
incorporation, and Dugger has now a town government. 


The village of Fairbanks originated during the lively days when the 
old state road from Mncennes to Terre Haute was the route for a con- 
siderable commerce and the daily passage of stage coach and road wagon. 
Benjamin Ernest, James Pogue and Samuel Myers were the men who, 
about 1840, set aside a tract of twenty acres which was surveyed and 
platted as a townsite. The town was given the name of the township, 
which was bestowed to honor a lieutenant who was massacred by the 
Indians while escorting a train of supplies toward Fort Harrison. 

Fairbanks because of its inland situation has grown little since the 

railroad era. At the present time and for several years past the residents 
of this vicinity have indulged in the prospect of railroad or electric inter- 
urban facilities, which, when realized, will at once give a heavy impulse 
to business activity in this region. At the present time the village has its 
graded school, one or two churches, and the stores and professional activi- 
ties of the small center. 



The central portion of the present courthouse at Sullivan has stood 
for over half a century. It was built immediately after the fire of Febru- 
ary 7, 1850. It was the seat of government during the war, and was the 
arsenal from which the first militia company was supplied with muskets. 
To an old resident, manv memories clinof about the old brick courthouse. 
The building is about as old as the recorded official history of the county, 
since no record remains of the transactions of the county officers before 

the fire. 


The county commissioners (Joseph W. Wolfe, Jesse Haddon, Levi 
Maxwell) took action on March 15, 1850, toward the erection of a new \ 
seat of government. In the meanwhile the clerk's office was in a store 
building, and circuit and other courts were convened in the ^Methodist 
church building. In April an appropriation of $2,500 was made to begin 
work. It was October before the lumber and brick were delivered on the 
square, and the county contracted with James F. Pound and William Reed 
to erect the structure for $7,853. The ground dimensions were 40 b}- 60 
feet. When it was completed on January i, 1852, the courthouse had cost 
the county nearly $9,000. 



' Jail. 

The first jail after the removal of the county seat to Sullivan stood 
on Broad street, just south of the present jail. It was a two-story build- 
ing;, with double walls of logs, the ground dimensions being about t,2 bv 
1 6 feet. The south end of the lower floor was intended for the residence 
of the sheriff. In the jail portion of the lower floor was one window, and 
in the upper story were three windows, each about eighteen inches square, 
latticed with iron bars riveted at their crossings, leaving open squares of 
about two inches through which came light and air. Heavy wooden shut- 
ters were used to close the windows. 

In 1858 a new jail was built on the same lot occupied by the one just 
described. The contract price for the brick and wood work was $2,750, 
and for the iron work. $2,462. The building was completed in October, 
1858, and was in use for over thirty years. The county commissioners 
began considering the building of a new jail in 1885, but did not act until 
1889. In June of that year the bid of B. B. Harris, of Greensburg, was 
accepted for $24,875. The commissioners decided to locate the new build- 
ing on the corner north of the former jail, buying two lots on Washington 
street for $1,860. The contractor began the construction of the brick and 
stone building at once, and it was completed in the following spring and 
accepted b}- the commissioners in April. A bond issue of $30,000 provided 
the funds for this building. The old jail building was sold to Joshua 

Beasley for $881. 

Poor Asyliiin. 

Sullivan county did not have a poor farm and asylum for the destitute 

and helpless until 1855. Previous to this time there was a county ofifiicial 


who looked after the poor, but the few paupers in his care were assigued 
to some individual who, for a certain amount each year, agreed ti) house 
and feed the unfortunates, at the same time getting the benefit of their 
labor so far as he was able to utilize it. The amount bid for tlic care of 
the poor in 1852 was $35 for each person. 

in the summer of 1855 the county b(jard bought from Heur}- K. Wil- 
son eighty acres of land l>ing in sections 35 and 26, of town 8, range 9, 
for $1,825. 1'"^^ little house on the farm was to be the asylum, and was 
improved for that purpose. In that year the pauper contract was let to 
Thomas Hale at $20 per person and the use of the poor farm. 

The first asylum building was erected during the last year of the 
Civil war. The bids were received on July 27, 1864. The accepted bid 
was $4,480 for a two-storied front, 18 Ijy 45 feet, and a one-story rear 
structure, 25 by 48 feet. The building was complete at the time called for 
in the contract, \Yhich was September 1, 1865. A frame building put up 
in 1877 was used for an infirmary. In 1885 a new infirmar\- was com- 
pleted. In 1896 plans were laid by the commissioners for the erection of a 
new building, modern in arrangements and sanitary conditions. The 
l)uilding was designed 120 feet long by 95 feet wide, the front to be for 
the use of the superintendent and family and the center and rear to con- 
tain twenty sleeping rooms and two sitting rooms and two dining rooms 
for the inmates. Steam heat, electric light and the most approved plumli- 
and ventilation were provided. The contract for the building was let in 
May to Briggs and Freeman of Sullivan for $15,307, without plumbing, 
which was a separate contract, bringing the total up to $18,554. 


The seventh article of the constitution of 185 1, as originally adopted, 
provided that "The judicial power of the state shall be vested in a su- 
preme court, in circuit courts, and in such inferior courts as the general 
assembly may establish." Under the power so granted, the legislature, 
by an act approved Alay 14, 1852, provided for a court of common pleas, 
to consist of one judge, elected by the voters of the proper district, who 
should hold his office for four years. 

This court was given the jurisdiction of the old probate court, with 
certain additional civil and criminal jurisdiction, inferior to the jurisdic- 
ton of the circuit court. It was the old probate court greatly improved, 
and with its powers and usefulness much enlarged. 

By an act approved June 11, 1852, provision was made for the election 
of a district attorney in every common pleas district. The duties of this 
officer in the court of common pleas were quite similar to those of the 
prosecuting attorney in the circuit court, except that his jurisdiction, like 
that of the common pleas judge, was in general limited to prosecutions for 
misdemeanors. As in case of the old probate court, appeals might be 



taken from the court of common pleas either to the circuit c(nu"t or to the 
supreme court. Appeals from justices of the peace might be taken to the 
court of common pleas or to the circuit court. There were four terms of 
court each vear. At fir>t these terms were fixed for the first Monday in 
January in each Acar. and for the first Monday of every third month there- 
after. The length of each term was made to depend upon the population 
of the count} , varying from one to three weeks. The clerk, however, in 
the absence of the judge, was, for many purposes, required to keep the 
court open "on every judicial day of the year." 

The common pleas court was abolished by the act of ?\Iarch 6, 1873, 
its business being transferred to the circuit courts of the respective 

Probate Courts. 

Acting under the provisions of article fifth of the constitution of 1816, 
authorizing the establishment of courts inferior to the circuit court, the 
legislature, by an act approved Februarv 10, 183 1, provided for the or- 
ganization in each county of a probate court, consisting of one judge, to be 
elected every seven years by the voters of the county. The court was 
given "original and exclusive jurisdiction in all matters relating to the 
probate of last wills and testaments" — granting letters testamentary, let- 
ters of administration, and of guardianship ; including also "the protection 
of minors, idiots and lunatics, and the security and disposition of their 
persons and estates." The probate court was also given concurrent juris- 
diction with the circuit court in actions "in favor of or against heirs, de- 
visees, legatees, executors, administrators, or guardians, and their sureties 


and representatives" ; also "in the partition of real estate," and some other 
like cases. 

The procedure as to pleadings, writs, trial, judgment, executions, etc., 
was in all respects similar to that in the circuit court, including the right 
to trial by jury. There might be an appeal either to the circuit court, or 
directly to the supreme court. The clerk of the circuit court and the 
slierifif of the county were alike officials of the probate court. As finally 
fixed by statute, the court met regularly on the second ^Mondays of Febru- 
ary. i\Iav, August and Xovember — except in case the circuit court or the 
board of countv commissioners should be in session on such day, when the 
probate court was to sit on the succeeding ^Monday. The sessions of the 
court were limited to six days, and the compensation of the judge was 
three dollars per day. 

Circuit Court. 

By article fifth of the constitution of 1816, it was provided that '"The 
judiciary power of this state, both as to matters of law and equit}-, shall 
be vested in one supreme court, in circuit courts, and in such other inferior 
courts as the general assembly may from time to time direct and estab- 

The same article of the constitution further provided that the circuit 
courts should consist each "of a president and two associate judges"; 
that the state should be divided into three circuits, for each of which a 
president should be appointed, who should reside within his circuit ; that 
the legislature might increase the number of circuits and presidents as the 
exigencies of the state might from time to time require; that all judges 


should "hold tlieir offices during- the term of seven }-ears, if they shall so 
long behave well, and shall -at stated times receive for their services a com- 
pensation which shall not be diminished during their continuance in 
office" ; and that "The presidents of the circuit courts shall be appointed 
b}' joint ballot of both branches of the general assemblv ; and the associate 
judges of the circuit courts shall be elected by the qualified electors in the 
respective counties." There was this further provision, that "The presi- 
dent alone, in the absence of the associate judges, or the president and one 
of the associate judges, in the absence of the other, shall be competent to 
hold a court, as also the two associate judges, in the absence of the presi- 
dent, shall be competent to hold a court, except in capital cases and cases 
in chancery." 

In the act approved January 24, 1831, the legislature provided that 
the ]:)resident should receive a salary of seven hundred dollars a year, to 
be paid out of the state treasury ; and that the associate judges should 
receive two dollars a day, while attending court, to be paid out of the 
county treasury. By an act approved February 15, 1838, it was provided 
that, in the absence of any presiding judge of the circuit, any other pre- 
siding judge of the state might hold court in such circuit. This was, in 
eiTect, a provision for a change of venue from a judge, and was so in- 
tended by the legislature as shown by the preamble to the act. Express 
provision was afterward made for changes of venue in case the presiding 
judge should be disqualified for any cause. In such case the special judge 
was allowed three dollars a day for his services. 

By article seventh of the constitution of 1851 the judiciary system 
was completely changed. The associate judges were discontinued, and 


provision was made for the election for six years of one judge for each 
circuit. By an act approved June 17. 1852, the state was divided into ten 
circuits. With increase of population the number of circuits has grown, 
thirty-eight being established by the legislature in 1873, and the number 
beins" now' over sixtv. 


The Bar. 

Sariniel Judah. who came to ^Nlerom about 1819-20, and lived in the 
county about three years, was one of the lawyers of Indiana who adapted 
the principles of general and statute law to the usage of the state. He was 
a native of Xew York, of Jewish stock, wa> educated at Rutgers College, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1819, when only twenty years old. He 

traveled west to Mncennes, wliich was then sufficiently supplied with law- 
yers, and in consequence he continued on to almost the edge of civilization 
and located at ]\Ierom. His practice Avhile a resident of Sullivan county 
was confined to the usual routine cases entrusted to a young lawyer, but 
in later years, when he resided at A'incennes. he was frequently engaged 
in the suits that reached the highest state courts, and was not unknown 
as a lawyer to the nation at large. He possessed great power as a public 
man. and was once speaker of the house of representatives of Indiana, and 
in 1840 came within one vote of election to the United States senate. 

The most interesting memorial of ]\Ir. Judah's residence in this county 
is a letter which he wrote to his sister, dated at ^Nlcrom, August 24, 1821. 
The village of Carlisle and some of its people seem much closer to the 
present as we read these lines : "To me there is nothing so amusing as the 
conversation of men of general information and practical knowledge. 


During a three months' sickness last fall at Carlisle, a neighboring village, 
I should most certainly have fretted myself to death had not the periods 
of intermission and the time of convalescence been relieved by exceedingly 
good company and books. Two young lawyers, two young doctors, one 
of whom had served in the ^Icditerranean. the other my friend McDonald, 
blessed with a fine mind and possessed of much knowledge and very pleas- 
ant manners, an editor of a newspaper whose genius was only excelled 
bv his lightness of heart, a gentleman who as a commission merchant had 
resided in many of the cities of continental Europe, a disbanded United 
States major, absolutely the most pleasing and best natured companion I 
ever met with, and two old sea captains who had been all over the world, 
formed an assemblage affording more pleasant amusement and enlivening 
conversation than I expected to find in the backwoods among ten persons, 
laboring under the effects of sickness, at a season almost unexampled- 
strangers and assembled at the same place by chance. Captain Wasson 
lived in Carlisle, and when the others were gone, in company with him 
or his books, I enjoyed much pleasure and spent the time pleasantly." 

The judges of the old court of common pleas, though not residents of 
Sullivan county, were well known to the bar of this county. One of the 
best known men of the time in this part of Indiana was Chambers Y. 
Patterson, who was the second judge to serve in the common pleas district 
comprising Sullivan county. He was born in \'incennes in 1824, studied 
law with Griswold and Usher at Terre Haute, and graduated from Har- 
vard Law School. He married the daughter of Hon. John Law, one of 
the circuit judges of southern Indiana. When in 1859 the legislature 
made a new common pleas district of Vigo, Sullivan, Parke and \^ermilion 

Vol. 1—15 


counties, he was elected judge. He was defeated in 1864 by Samuel F. 
Maxwell, this being his only defeat during his career. He was later 
elected judge of the eighteenth circuit, when it was composed of Ver- 
milion, Parke, Sullivan and A^'igo counties. He continued as circuit judge 
in A igo and Sullivan counties (which in 1878 were made the fourteenth 
circuit) until his death in 1881. Concerning his character as a judge, it 
has been said: "He was not a close student of the law, and consequently 
his knowledge of the law acquired from books was limited. He possessed 
a good judicial mind, and gave close attention to the evidence in causes 
tried before him, and decided according to the natural equity or the right 
of the case. . . . He transacted business rapidly and impartially. 
His decisions stood the test in the supreme court far above the average of 

James AI. Hanna, who died on his farm in Curry tow'nship, January 
15, 1872, was distinguished by service on the supreme bench of the state 
from 1858 to 1866, and thereafter lived in Sullivan county till his death. 
He served a term as state senator from this county. He was born in 
Franklin county, Indiana, in 1816. His son, Burton G. Hanna, was born 
in Clay county in 1840, graduated from the State University, entered the 
law and served a teim as prosecuting attorney, and was prominent in 
Democratic politics. 

A former member of the Sullivan county bar whose acquaintance with 
the members of the profession and whose personal standing gave him the 
distinction of leadership was Sewell Coulson. He came to Sullivan county 
in 1856. Born in Pennsylvania in 1825, of Quaker parentage, he studied 
law in Ohio and had attained considerable reputation in Hardin county 


before his removal to Sullivan county. He was a partner of Israel W. 
Booth for several years. He was retained as counsel on one side or the 
other of the most important criminal trials in Sullivan county courts. His 
ability as a lawyer never secured recognition in public office for the reason 
that he was a Republican, but he was long a man of influence in the pro- 
fession and as a citizen. In a former history of Sullivan county he was 
the author of the chapters on the bench and bar, and thus preserved to 
memory many interesting and valuable facts concerning the former law- 
yers and courts of this county. 

Mr. Coulson died at his home in Sullivan, December 6, 1884. At a 
meeting of the bar, of which Judge Buff was chairman, speeches paying 
tribute to him were made by Murray Briggs, J. T. Hays, J. W. Hinkle, W. 
and C. E. Barrett, T. J. Wolfe, Alex. Massic and James B. Patten, and 
among the resolutions adopted was one that "in the death of Sewell Coul- 
son the bar of the Sullivan circuit court has lost its ablest member and the 
profession one of its brightest lights." The editor of the Democrat esti- 
mated him as one who was never known to hold malice, and in his practice 
was remarkably tenacious of his clients' rights, and was never accused of 
being untrue to those who employed him. 

The present congressman from the Second Indiana district, John C. 
Chaney, is closely identified with Sullivan county. When a boy he at- 
tended the Ascension Seminary and was an honor graduate. He taught 
school while preparing for the law, and after a course of study in the 
office of John T. Gunn he entered the Cincinnati Law School and gradu- 
ated in 1882, after which he returned to Sullivan to begin practice in part- 
nership with his old preceptor. Judge Gunn. The Chaney family have 


been well known in the public life of the county for many years, yet po- 
litically they are Republicans and have gained honors against normal ma- 
jorities of the other party. 

The sitccessor of C. Y. Patterson as jitdge of the circuit court was 
George \\'. Butt, who was elected to that office in 1882. He was born in 
Darke county, Ohio, in 1843, his parents moving to a farm near ]\Ierom in 
1862. He studied law with his brother, N. G. Buff, in Sullivan, and be- 
gan the practice of law in 1870, at first with his brother, and later with 
John T. Hays, and then with James B. Patten. 

During the latter part of his career, Judge James C. Allen was a 

prominent member of the Illinois bar, was a judge of the supreme cotirt 

of that state, member of Congress, and very prominent in Democratic 

politics. He began his career in Sullivan county when twenty -one years 

old. Born in Kentucky in 1822, lie was a young lawyer at Alerom during 

the last months of that town's position as county seat, and followed the 
court to Sullivan. In 1845 he was elected prosecuting attorney, and after 

his term in that office moved to Illinois to continue his upward progress 

in law and politics. 

7dic ]Moneer. Rev. Joseph Williams Wolfe, was a versatile and very 

active man. In i860 he was admitted to the bar. For some years before 

and for a long time afterward he was a familiar figure in the office of the 

circuit clerk, serving as a deputy through various administrations after 

he had been circuit clerk himself for eight years. At a still earlier period 

in the county's history he had been an active minister of the Christian 

church, and his name appears in many church records. He was also a 

large propertv owner. He was a \'irginian, born in Frederick county in 


1810, of German descent, and the family located in Sullivan county in 

In later years the name Hamill has been familiar in the history of the 
bar of Terre Haute. The late S. R. Hamill, Jr., figured prominently in 
the trials of John R. ^^"alsh, the Chicago banker and railroad promoter. 
M. C. Hamill is a prominent attorney of Terre Haute. A little over thirty 
years ago the father of these men, Samuel R. Hamill, was himself an 
active member of the Sullivan county bar. When death through heart 
failure took him awa}' on June 22, 1875, he had been serving about a year 
as prosecuting attorney of the judicial circuit of Sullivan and \ igo coun- 
ties. He had lived in this county about twenty-five years. He was born 
at Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, about 1820, studied law and moved first 
to Newark, Ohio, to practice, and then to Evansville, Indiana, and also 
lived a while in Wisconsin. After his niarriage to Miss ]\Iartlia Wood, 
member of a distinguished family of Terre Haute, he came to Sullivan 
county. At one time he served as school examiner for the county, and for 
some years had been a trustee of the schools of Sullivan. He was a fluent 
and forcible speaker. 

From 1854 to 1884 one of the bar's most thoroughly qualified mem- 
bers was John T. Gunn, who excelled as a practitioner, who studied all 
the precedents and authorities and relied upon logical and carefully pre- 
pared argument to win his cases. He was noted for his precision and 
methodical manner of doing business. He died January 19, 1884, at Jack- 
sonville, Florida, where he had spent several months in the vain effort 
to restore health. At a citizens' meeting resolutions on his character and 
career were prepared by a committee of associates consisting of Judge 


Buff, J. T. Hays, J. C. Briggs, D. Crawley, J. T. Mann, J. C. Bartlett and 
Dr. Thompson. Mr. Gunn was born in England, April i6, 1826, and 
located at Sullivan in 1853, being admitted to practice in May of the fol- 
lowing \ear. He was one of the oldest members of the bar at the time 
of his death. 

The military spirit ran high in the members of the Briggs family. It 
is said that Benjamin Briggs, the first American of this family, came to 
the colonies from England about 1770, and a few years later mortgaged 
his estate to raise a company of patriots to fight against the mother coun- 
try, and, besides sacrificing his estate, lost his left arm at Monmouth and 
his right leg at Yorktown. David, his son, raised a company for the de- 
fense of Baltimore in the war of 1812, and was always known as "Alajor" 
Briggs. Joseph W. Briggs, a son of the major, was one of the few men 
who came to Sullivan county during pioneer times possessed of a college 
education. He was a graduate of Dickinson College of Carlisle, Pennsyl- 
vania, and had been admitted to the bar of that state before he came west 
to Carlisle, Indiana. In this county he was a merchant and farmer for a 
time, was elected probate judge, in 1836 state representative, and soon 
afterward began the practice of law, which he continued until his death. 
Following the example of his father and grandfather, when the Mexican 
war broke out he raised a company, largely of Sullivan county men, and 
led them to battle in the campaigns of southern Texas and Mexico. He 
was noted for his scholarship, his fluency as a speaker, his readiness in 
argunient, and his broad knowledge of the world. 

On the death of Judge John C. Briggs, at his home near Sullivan, 
April 14. 1901, the Sullivan county bar declared that, "as a soldier, a 


legislator, a judge, and a lawyer, he had met each responsibility with credit 
to himself and honor to the country. ... In cross-examination he 
was exceedingly strong, so also in summing up a case before a Sullivan 
county jury. His mind was masterful and his memory wonderful. . . . 
In the death of the Hon. John C. Briggs the state and county have lost a 
useful and distinguished citizen, the Sullivan county bar has lost a leading 
member, and his wife has lost a devoted husband." 

Judge Briggs, who was a member of the well-known family of that 
name in Sullivan county, was born at Carlisle, September 2', 1841, and 
came to Sullivan at the age of fifteen to study in the old seminary. When 
the war came he enlisted in the Fourteenth Indiana Infantry, was later 
transferred to the cavalry and made quartermaster. For personal bravery 
in battle he was promoted to captain. At the close of the war he was lo- 
cated for a short time at Eastport, Mass., but in the winter of 1867-68 
returned to Sullivan. He was a while in the dry goods business with 
James W. Hinkle. In 1869 he began reading law in Dan Voorhees' office 
at Terre Haute, and the following year was admitted to the bar. At the 
fall election of the same year he was elected prosecutor for the circuit then 
composed of Vermilion, Parke, Vigo and Sullivan counties. Until 1873 
the firm of Voorhees & Briggs shared a large practice at Terre Haute, 
and the partnership continued for several years after J\Ir. Briggs' removal 
to Sullivan. In 1878 Mr. Briggs was elected to the state legislature, but 
declined re-election, and from 1880 to 1888 achieved his highest honors 
as a lawyer. In 1888 he was elected judge of the circuit court, and after 
leaving the bench his health gradually declined until his death. 



The Sullivan County iMedical Society was organized at a meeting of 
the physicians at the courthouse at Sullivan, May 19, 1858. The first 

set of ofilicers consisted of : H. N. Helms, president ; S. R. Youngman, 
vice president ; John J. Thompson, secretary, and John M. Hinkle, treas- 
urer. The only other members present at this time were Eli Bowyer and 
W. R. Miller, who were chosen censors. The objects of the society were 
most commendable. The association was "for the purpose of mutual 
recognition and fellowship : the maintenance of union and good govern- 
ment among its members ; the promotion of the interest, honor and use- 
fulness of the profession ; and the cultivation and advancement of medical 
science and literature, and the elevation of the standard of medical educa- 

The names of several additional members of the profession appear 
in the list of those in attendance at the second annual meeting. They were 
A. J. Miller, Ziba Foote, A. N. Wier, J. K. O'Haver, Harvey Brown and 
W. G. Stout. 

The Civil war interfered with the activity of the society, and the 



physicians did not reorganize until the late sixties, at which time they be- 
came a branch of the state medical society. 

Another organization of the physicians of the county into an associa- 
tion was efifected at Sullivan, April 23, 1895. The officers elected at that 
time were: R. H. Crowdcr, president; Dr. Cushman, vice president; Dr. 
Pirtle, secretary ; Walter N. Thompson, treasurer. 

A physician whose connection with the soutliern part of the county 
a quarter of a century ago will be readily recalled was Dr. Richard ^1. 
Whalen, wdio died at his home near Carlisle, July 7, 1899. His son, J. R. 
Whalen, succeeds him in the practice of the profession at Carlisle. The 
elder Dr. \\'halen was physician to an older generation. The family is a 
prominent one. A forefather was born in Ireland, and later generations 
have lived in North Carolina and Tennessee, and for more than three 
quarters of a century the name has been identilied with Haddon town- 
ship. The late Dr. Whalen did not take up the study of medicine until 
about thirtv-five vears old, having spent a year in selling clocks about the 
country, and his life was further diversified by an experience in teaming 
during the early days in Kansas. His preparation for the practice of 
medicine was completed by a course in the Rush Medical College of Chi- 
cago, in 1867, and he then returned to practice in his native county. Some 
years ago he was proprietor of a drug store at Carlisle. He was an 
honored member of his profession, a fine type of the country doctor. 

Dr. Andrew N. Weir began practice about 1858 and for twenty-five 
years visited the sick about Graysville, and later had a drug store and 
established a practice in Sullivan. During the war he was with the Sev- 
enty-first Regiment, at first as captain of the Sullivan company, and in 


1863 was commissioned assistant surgeon and in the following year pro- 
moted to surgeon of the regiment, with which he remained to the close 
of the war. He was born in Washington county, Indiana, November 9, 
1832, and died at Sullivan in September, 1885. He was a Mason and 
Odd Fellow. 

It is said that Dr. John J. Thompson, when he came to Sullivan in 
1848, had but fifty cents. He w-as then twenty-four years old, had been 
practicing medicine for a while, and after getting well established in 
Sullivan became, in time, known as a wealthy man. He had completed 
his professional course at Rush Medical College, and was an able man in 
every wa}-. He married Miss Mar}- A. Langston. 

A physician whose practice in Sullivan county covered the middle 
decades of the last centur}- was Alexander Marion Murphy, who about 
1841 formed a partnership with Dr. J. K. O'Haver at Carlisle, and for 
thirty }ears or more was cjuite actively identified with the profession. He 
was one of the early physicians whose education was along the broad lines 
that characterize the modern physician's training. He had begun his 
studies in Bloomington, continued them in the medical college at Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, and after practicing for several years took other courses 
in the L'niversity of New York. He was a surgeon in the Ninety-seventh 
Indiana Regiment from 1862 to 1864. 

Dr. Jesse M. Mathes, who was born in this county in 1841, was a 
soldier in Company D of the Twenty-first Regiment and Company I of 
the Ninety-seventh, until his discharge in the latter part of 1864 on ac- 
count of a wound received at Kenesaw Mountain, studied medicine after 


the war and began practice at Carlisle about 1868. He was a graduate of 
Rush [Medical College of Chicago. 

The career of one of the old physicians deserves special mention be- 
cause of its associations with the life and affairs of the county during the 
central period of the last century. Dr. Hamet N. Helms, though born in 
New York state in 1814, came with his parents, Jacob and Anna Helms, 
to Carlisle in 1817, and for half a century was identified with the county 
in a way that is worthy of note. His life's future was determined by an 
event when he was ten years old. His mother dying about that time, he 
was subsequently reared to manhood in the home of the eminent citizen 
and physician, Dr. John W. Davis. In consequence of this association he 
took up the study of medicine, and during the winter of 1837-38 attended 
medical lectures at Lexington, Kentucky. Among the incidents of his 
early career he is said to have piloted flatboats from the shallow w^aters of 
Busseron creek, down the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans. 
In 1839 he began a partnership practice with Dr. Davis, and during his 
professional experience was associated with several physicians who have 
helped make medical history in Sullivan county, among them being Dr. 
A. M. Murphy, Dr. John M. Hinkle, and Dr. W. R. Miller. Dr. Helms 
was a fine type of the old-style physician, a friend of every patient, and 
beloved in the community which he served. His later years were devoted 
to farming, on a fine country estate near Carlisle. The Methodist church 
at Carlisle owed much to his efforts as a contributor and active worker, 
and the philanthropic direction of his enterprise was also shown in his 
appointment during later life as a trustee of the Indiana Reform School 
for Boys. He died at Carlisle, September 16, 1892. He was first mar- 


ried to ^Fary A. Davis about 1839 and three ehildren were born to them, 
Benjamin k., Margaret D. and Ann R. His wife dying about 1851, short- 
ly after her death he made an overland trip to California. After his re- 
turn he was luarricd to !Mrs. Amanda Sollee and by this marriage three 
ehildren were born, Samuel D., Albert G. and Daniel W. V. 

Benjamin Rush Helms, oldest son by the first marriage of Dr. Hamet 
N., spent nearly all his life at Carlisle and was also a physician. He was 
born in 1840 and died in 1887. A schoolbo}- in the Carlisle Academy when 
the war broke out, he enlisted in Company D of the Twenty-first Indiana 
Infantry, and was promoted to second lieutenant. He studied medicine at 
Rush Medical College, and practiced at Carlisle until 1882, when he moved 
to Henderson, Kentucky. His first wife was Lola Jenkins and his second, 
Ella Letcherer. 

Robert H. Crowder, whose father was a physician, was this well 
known family's representative in the field of medicine in Sullivan county. 
He began practice at Graysville some time during the war, but gave it up 
to enter the army, first as captain of a company, and later as surgeon of 
the Eleventh Indiana. After being mustered out in 1865 he re-entered 
Rush Aledical College at Chicago, and, graduating in 1866, returned to a 
permanent connection with Sullivan as a physician. 

A physician who began practice at Sullivan a short time before the 
war, and was thereafter prominent in his profession as also in Democratic 
politics, was Dr. S. S. Coft'man. He was born in Indiana in 1828. and 
prepared for his profession in the Kentucky School of ]\Iedicine and in 
the medical department of Transylvania University at Lexington. He was 


active in Democratic politics and during the seventies represented the 
county in the legislature. 

James Newton Young, who died at Carlisle, August 16, 1894, was 
for twenty-eight years a leading practitioner of that place. He was born 
in Gibson county. May 16, 1842, and after attending the schools at Prince- 
ton began the study of medicine in the Ohio Medical College in the fall 
of 1863. He was graduated in March. 1865. and was then appointed sur- 
geon in the United States volunteer navy, and received the thanks of the 
department when he was discharged in 1866. He was in charge of the 
vessel Gazelle until the war closed, when he was given charge of the 
naval ordnance depot at Jefferson barracks. On leaving the service he lo- 
cated at Carli>le. 


The first newspaper in this county was pubhshed at Carhsle. Jeremiah 
Young came from Daviess county about 1844 and estabhshed the Jack- 
sonian Democrat, but continued it through only a few numbers. James C. 
Ahen, at that time a lawyer of this county, with Thomas ]vlarks, used the 
same plant for the publication of the Carlisle Messenger, but probably 
this lasted only through the political campaign, since the newspapers of 
that time were conducted largely as an instrument of politics. The Mes- 
senger was, however, the first regular paper in the county. A copy is still 
preserved by the Helms family, being No. 41 of Volume I, dated Novem- 
ber 19, 1845. At that time George W. Bee & Co. were editors and pub- 

This paper is chiefly interesting for its advertisements, which tell 
some of the business and professional interests of Carlisle at that time. 
Peter Hawk and Company were tailors, I. Shannon had a saddlery and 
harness shop, the general store of J. D. Riggs was an important establish- 
ment, and J. and J. Alsop advertised dry goods and groceries and "old 
rectified whisky, always on hand and for sale by the barrel." A. ]\I. 
]\Iurphy and H. N. Helms were partners in medicine and had their office 



one door south of Riggs' store on Leclgerwood street. Dr. J, H. Paxton, 
who had closed out a store, had his office at Mrs. Hall's residence. Thomas 
Marks and James C. Allen were local attorneys, while three Sullivan law- 
yers also advertised — A. J. Thickstun, L. H. Rousseau and R. A. Rous- 
seau. D. H. Hancock was at that time the sheriff, his name appearing 
in the notices of settlement of the estates of William S. Cruft and Robert 
Boyle, deceased. 

The Democrat. 

In 1854 J. J. Mayes, of Vincennes, came to Sullivan and proposed 
to start a paper. Joseph W. Wolfe, John S. Davis, Isaac Stewart, Joseph 
Gray and William Wilson advanced $25 a piece to make payment on the 
press and material and endorsed notes for the remainder. The press 
was capable of printing a sheet five columns to the page. The editor and 
proprietor took a walk over town the day his first issue was circulated, 
carrying a gold-headed cane. Whether his style was unpopular with the 
Democrats of the day, or whether his inspection of the town was unsatis- 
factory, is not known. However, he left Sullivan at once and returned to 
Vincennes. In September the Democratic leaders secured a printer named 
Farley and got out two more issues, Samuel R. Flamill writing the edi- 
torials. When the election was over the editorials ceased and the paper 

The chance which brought to the attention of ^lurray Briggs a stray 
copy of the Terre Haute Journal gave Sullivan its best known editor, who 
for over thirty years was identified with the fortimes of the Sullivan 
Democrat and really founded and developed that newspaper to its place 


of inriuencc in the press of the county. In 1854 Murray Briggs, who had 
been a printer since the age of fifteen, having entered that employment 
after breaking hrs leg, was pursuing his vocation in the usual manner of 
journeyman printers, without remaining long in one place. The copy of 
the Terre Haute paper which he happened to pick up one day contained 
a marked paragraph headed, "An Editor Wanted," and signed with the 
name of Joseph W. Wolfe. The editor of the paper at Sullivan, Indiana, 
so the paragraph stated, had disappeared without leaving any securitx- to 
his numerous creditors except the printing office, and to make this an 
available asset an editor was needed to continue the paper. Mr. Briggs 
soon afterward came to Sullivan, bought the office, and from that time 
forward was proprietor and publisher of the Sullivan Democrat. Born in 
Licking county, Ohio, April 26, 1830, Murray Briggs lived on a farm till 
the accident which turned him to the printer's trade. In Sullivan county 
he was a man of prominence. In public office he served as a school exam- 
iner, as county auditor, on the town school board, and for a number of 
years was on the board of trustees of the State Normal School, being- 
president of that body. 

When ]\Ir. Briggs came to Sullivan the town contained some frame 
and log dwellings and three brick houses. Business was confined to Wash- 
ington street between Court and Section, the five merchants being William 
Wilson, Merwin and Kelley, Major Isaac Stewart, John Bridwell and 
James W. Hinkle. Mail was received three times a week from Terre 
Haute via F"airbanks, Graysville, Merom and New Lebanon. !Mr. Briggs 
rode from Terre Haute as far as Farmersburg on a freight car loaded 
with ties, the railroad not yet being completed to Sullivan. The line from 


the south was at CarHsle and the two ends were joined in November, 
1854. The old star mail route was continued about half a year longer, 
owing to a disagreement between the postmaster general and the railroad 
company for the transportation of the mails. 

The Democrat office was then in the upper room of a frame building 
on the southeast corner of Section and Washington street, the first floor 
being occupied by Bridwell's general store. Across the street was the 
Railroad House, kept by J. P. Dufficy. In the spring of 1855 a number of 
new buildings were erected on the north and west sides of the square, and 
some of the trees now in the square were planted, each citizen bringing a 
tree, planting it and afterwards caring for it, the editor of the Democrat 
setting out one near the edge of the north side of the square. In 1859 
the Democrat was moved to a frame building, and in 1870 the editor build- 
ing the brick building near the center of the north side of the square, 
moved the office to the second floor (building now occupied by Button's 

At the close of the first volume the Democrat was increased to a six- 
column folio, and later to seven and then to eight columns. In 1869 a 
cylinder press was put in, and in 1881 a Campbell press with steam power. 
The first year Mr. Briggs did all the work, of editor, pressman and printer. 
Fourteen columns of news matter had to be set up each week, about six 
columns being advertising. Plate matter was then unknown. On making 
up the forms, if it was found there was not enough matter to fill the col- 
umns, the type was left standing until the editor could secure sufficient 
copy, and he frequently did not take time to write out his new material 
but set his news directly into type. The forms were inked with a hand 

Vol. I — 16 


ixiller, Uic sheet, first dampened, was placed upon the form, and b\- means 
of a lever the platen was lowered, the same process being gone through 
twice for each copy of the paper. The mailing took half a day. since 
each address had to be written by hand. 

j\Ir. Briggs continued as editor until his death, September i8, 1896. 
Xo other editor in the state had a record of so long continuous service on 
the same paper. For about a year the Democrat Avas issued by ]\Iurray 
Briggs' sons, but with the issue of July 19, 1897, passed into the pro- 
prietorship of S. Paul Poynter of Greencastle, Avho has since conducted 
the Democrat. F^rom July, 1883, until Mr. Poynter took charge the Demo- 
crat was issued semi-weekly. At the latter date the price was reduced 
from $1.50 to $1 a year, the weekly issue was resumed, and the size in- 
creased. In 1901 the business of the paper had outgrown the old location, 
and the proprietor erected the brick building on the south side of Jackson 
street and moved the office to the first floor. July 17, 1905, was issued 
the first number of the Sullivan Daily Times, this having since been the 
daily edition of the Democrat. 

Sullivan Union. 

About April i, i860, F. AL Browning began publishing a little paper 
at ]\Ieroni called the Stars and Stripes, largely devoted to the interests of 
the college. The same year the material was moved to Sullivan and "the 
venerable John \\\ Osborn, one of the pioneer newspaper men of western 
Indiana, issued the Stars and Stripes as a loyal administration and Union 
paper. It was continued only a short wdiile. At the county Republican 
convention held at the courthouse in February, 1863, a committee was 


appointed to consider the propriety of establishing- an "unconcHtional 
Union"" newspaper, but none was established during the war. 

The first number of the Sullivan Union was issued in August, 1866. 
The publisher was Isaac ]\1. Brown, a veteran newspaper man of Terre 
Haute. The subscription price was $2.50 a year. This was the Repub- 
lican organ of the county, l)ut was not successful financially. At the edi- 
torial convention held in Sullivan in 1882 Mr. Briggs, in a review of local 
newspaper histor}-, assigned various causes for this — too frequent changes 
of compositors and a superfluity of editors of differing political views. 
On one occasion, it was said, the paper contained two editorials on the 
tariff', one favoring free trade and the other advocating protective duties. 
jMr. Briggs often called attention to the fact that the publisher of the 
Union and the incumbent of the Sullivan postoffice was the same man, 
inferring that the postoffice was in some way a perquisite of the Republican 

In October, 1872, the Unioji was sold to Uriah Coulson, and in 
3>Iarch. 1874. James A. Hays became proprietor. Uriah Coulson again 
bought the Union in the spring of 1883. and conducted it a few years. 
iNIr. lames Cluggage was proprietor of this paper until ^larch, 1891, 
when he sold to Arthur Holmes. P. D. Lowe became editor at that time. 
W. R. Nesbit became proprietor of the Union in 1902, and in March, 1904, 
sold the i)lant to D. C. Chancy and Robert P. White, the present pro- 

The Sullivan County Banner was established July i, 1874, by M. B. 
Crawford and S. B. Marts, as the organ of the independent party. In 
about a year it was sold to J. H. Stark and T. H. Evans, but in Septj:n- 


ber, 1875, was suspended, and the material was taken by ]\Ir. Crawford to 

The Carhsle Register^ estabhshed in July, 1876, was largely devoted 
to the affairs of the Grange. Its founder was William Herron, whose son 
George was an amateur printer. E. H. Bailey was later employed as 
printer and in a few months took the entire plant for his pay. He changed 
the name to the Carlisle Democrat^ and his brother, W. W. Bailey, became 
editor. They continued their paper until August. 1879, when they moved 
the plant to \'incennes and consolidated with the Reporter. 

In January, 1878, a prospectus was issued for the True Democracy, 
of which George \\\ Easier was proprietor. The publication was begun 
in February following; and Colonel Taylor, a writer of ability, furnished 
the editorials. This was the organ of another faction of the Democratic 
party. In 1881 the office passed into the hands of Dr. J. C. Bartlett, who 
changed the name to the Sullivan Times. D. O. Groft" was a later pro- 
prietor, who sold the Times in the spring of 1888 to C. W. Welman, who 
continued as editor and manager of the Times until 1896. 

The Carlisle Acivs is now the principal journal in the south part of 
the county. Edley ^^'. Rogers, one of the young newspaper men of the 
state, bought an interest in this paper in April, 1907, and since April, 
1908. has been sole proprietor. The A'czvs is well edited, and is capably 
n-ian.aged for the best interests of Carlisle and vicinity. 

The Dugger Journal was established about 1906. the first numbers be- 
ing printed in Sullivan. The first issue printed at that town was in Feb- 
ruary, 1906. Joseph F. Ferry was owner and manager, and in February, 
1907, sold the Journal to ^Maurice Shirley, formerly of the Sullivan Times. 


Sullivan county is one of the great coal bins of American industry. 
For years the railroads and factories have been getting their fuel from 
the rich stores that underlie the green fields and wooded uplands of this 
county. Every mile or so along the E. & T. H. Railroad a switch opens 
a little line that runs back into the country to the mines. And every 
few hours a train of coal-laden cars is drawn out from this spur to 
the main road and hurried away perhaps hundreds of miles to factory 
furnaces. Coal is the larger part of the freight which originates in this 
county, the labor of producing it is the largest single industry, and the 
occupation furnishes to the county its most diverse and problematical 
social elements. 

While the coal fields of Sullivan county have been known to exist 
and have been under development more or less for more than half a 
century, the fortunes of industrial progress have been such that the 
county has always been only a fuel storehouse, not also a manufacturing 
center. A group of factories located at the doors of the mines would 
seem an economic result, since it would appear to be cheaper to transport 
tiie finished material of manufacture rather than the bulky fuel with 
which to make it. But seemingly no fixed laws govern such matters, 
and sometimes the raw material of manufacture is brought to the coal 



supply, sometimes the fuel is conveyed to location of the raw material, 
and again factories are located at convenient railroad and labor centers, 
remote from both sources of fuel and materials of manufacture. With- 
out inquiring into the reasons in this particular case, it is sufficient to 
state that Sullivan county has been content to produce and send away its 
millions of tons of coal to manufacturing plants at a distance. At the 
time of this writing a new phase in these problems has appeared. The 
plan has been favorably discussed of converting the coal into power at the 
mines, and conveying the product through electric wires to the factories. 
By this plan the cost of fuel transportation would be practically 
eliminated, and it is possible that in a few years the coal on being drawn 
from the ground will be converted at the mouth of the mine into electric 
current, and thence flashed across the country to the motors of the cities 
and factories. 

In the account given by David Thomas of his travels up the Wabash 
valley in 1816 (elsewhere quoted at length), after describing the Turman 
settlement and prairie, the writer says: "In this neighborhood we have 
passed a coal mine, which has been recently opened, though the work 
has been but partially performed ... As the excavation is made 
in the channel of a small brook, the torrent, by removing loose earth, 
doubtless led to this discovery. All the strata of this fossil that we have 
seen in the western country has appeared near the surface ; and it would 
not surprise me, if it should be brought forth in a thousand places where 
the shovel and the pickaxe have never yet been employed." 

This is the earliest known mention of coal mining in Sullivan county. 
A general knowledge of the existence of the mineral throughout the 
^^'abash valley was of an earlier date. The use of coal in these early 
}cars was entirely local. Occasionally someone would open a surface 
vein on his farm, and use its product as a substitute for wood. Or a 


blacksmith would sometimes burn the mineral coal instead of charcoal, 
ikit at that time the timber supply was abundant, and except in these 
individual instances the burning of coal had not come into vogue. An- 
other obstacle to the general use of coal at that time was the fact that 
stoves were not yet introduced, and that a practical method of burning 
coal without the attendant inconveniences of dirt and smoke had not 
been devised. 

Along, in the thirties some coal from this vicinity was sent down 
the river bv flatboat to Xew Orleans. The coal traffic had alreadv begun 
l:)etween the ports of the upper Ohio and the lower Mississippi, and the 
Wabash valley coal sent downstream was said to command as high a 
price as the IMttsburg coal. 

The railroads and factories are the principal consumers of coal. For 
domestic use the favorite fuel until within recent years was wood. There 
was accordingly little use for coal until the era of manufacturing and 
railroads. The development of the coal industr}^ is closely involved with 
the evolution of transportation. Until the superior facilities of the rail- 
roads were afforded, the production of coal for distant markets was 
unprofitable, and on the other hand the railroads themselves soon became 
the largest users of coal. Though it is evident that coal was mined in 
this county during the first half of the nineteenth century, and that it 
was transported down the Wabash and perhaps overland for some dis- 
tance before being placed on the flatboats, it may be stated that the 
history of coal mining as an industry began with the opening of the first 
railroad lines through this region. Of some interest in this connection 
is the statement contained in the report of the president of the Terre 
Haute & Indianapolis Railroad (Vandalia) in 1852, calling attention to 
the need of coal cars, since the coal traffic, in his judgment, was certain 
to be a large part of the railroad's business. 


The first railroad in -the county was put in operation in 1854. The 
following" year an advertisement in the Democrat mentions the first 
practical coal mine in the county, the property of Hanchett & Kelly, of 
Farmersburg. This enterprising firm took the coal from a bank several 
miles from the railroad, and in order to obviate the transportation by 
wagon from mine to railroad, they built in the latter part of 1855 a 
wooden railroad, of a three-foot gauge, over the three miles to Farmers- 
burg. Their cars were each of twenty-five bushels capacity, and it was 
of course necessary to reload into the regular railroad cars. Som'e years 
later the mining companies were able to persuade the railroads to build 
switch tracks out to the mines. 

The development of the mining industry went on gradually during 
the following years. It is only within the past decade that this county 
has risen to rank among the leading counties of the state in amount of 
coal production. A newspaper item that appeared in the fall of 1863, 
while the war was in progress, states that large quantities of coal were 
being shipped from this county, and that in the machine shops of the 
Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad, where the coal was chiefly used, it 
was considered of a very superior quality. The adjacent counties were 
far in advance of Sullivan twenty-five years ago in the coal industry. 
The report of the department of statistics in 1883 gives the total pro- 
duction of the twelve mines of this county as 87,470 tons. In the same 
y.ear Clay county mined 661,410 tons; Daviess county, 240,000 tons; 
Parke, 119,567 tons; and Vigo county, 96,710 tons. The average number 
of employes in Sullivan county in 1883 was 239, and the amount of 
capital invested was $74,050. 

The remarkable rise of Sullivan county to first place among Indiana 
counties took place during the present decade. At the beginning of the 
century it ranked third or fourth, then advanced to second place, and 


the state geologist reported (August, igo6) that this county was first, 
with Greene second and Clay fifth. Estimates which were published in 
January, 1907, showed that the thirty-seven mines of this county pro- 
duced an aggregate for the preceding year of 2,262,428 tons. Greene 
and Vigo counties were next, each having twenty-eight mines in opera- 
tion. The total production of Greene was 2,243,584 tons, and of Vigo, 
1,868,465 tons. The number of miners in the respective counties in the 
order just mentioned above was 3,666, 3.679 and t,^^^--"^" 

When it is considered that the population of Sullivan county in 1900 
was about 26,000, with allowances for the increase of the following six 
years, it is evident that the 3,666 miners are a large and important ele- 
ment of the total population, and that with their families and dependants 
they are capable of exerting a very great influence on the social and 
political life of the count)'. 

Some interesting statistics on the Sullivan county coal deposits are 

contained in the state geologist's report for 1898. On that authority, it is 
not difficult to understand the pre-eminence of the coal industry in this 
county, since it is estimated that 440 square miles of the county area (the 
whole of it) is underlaid with coal deposits, and that of this the area of 
workable coal is 365 square miles. In other words, four-fifths of the 

* During 1907 Sullivau county fell to second place in total production, being 
again passed by Greene county. The figures for that year are contained in the state 
geologist 's report : 

Tons. Wages. 

Greene county 2,704,408 $2,189,153 

Sullivan county 2,660,333 2,263,994 

Vigo county 2,581,379 2,246,366 

The thirty-four mines mentioned in the inspector's report had a total of 4,016 
employes. The principal mining companies of the county at the time of this report 
were: The Indiana Southern Coal Company, Consolidated Indiana Coal Company, 
the Vandalia Coal Company, Bering Coal Company, Jackson Hill Coal Company, 
Shirley Hill Coal Company, Southern Indiana Coal Company, Sullivan County Coal 
Company, Carlisle Coal and Clay Company, etc., there being sixteen companies in all. 


surface of the county has" coal deposits underneath which may be made 
to yield fuel wealth. The estimated total of tons in the deposits was 
placed at 4,650,000.000 tons, and at the time of the report the estimated 
amount of workable coal still unmined was 950,000,000 tons. The total 
annual output of the county at the present time is about three million 
tons. Unless the demand or the working facilities make possible a pro- 
duction luany times as great, it seems probable that Sullivan county will 
produce coal for several centuries to come. In the report for 1898, the 
greatest thickness of a coal vein in the county was coal 5 at Alum Cave, 
rane:ine from nine to eleven feet. 


Chronoloo-ical Xotcs on Coal Iiidiisfrx. 


Jan. 25, 1866 — Apparatus is placed for sinking coal shaft at 

Sept. 20, 1866 — Superior quality of coal 5 feet thick is dis- 
covered at a depth of 173 feet. 

Feb. 10, 1870— Hon. James ~Sl. Hanna deeded 160 acres in Curry 
township to his son B. G. Hanna and son-in-law Henry Overholser, 
who formed the Standard Coal Co., with a capital stock of $24,000. 

Nov. 22. 1 87 1 — A meeting was held at Paxton preparatory to 
prospecting for coal in that vicinity. In October, 1872, Jasper Davis 
opened a bank of coal of good quality. 

[March 2, 1872— Organization of the Carlisle Coal Prospecting 
Co. completed, with William Orr. president, John Speake, secretary, 
and James M. Parvin, treasurer. Active work soon after begun. 

March 30, 1872 — Harry Stipes, ]\Ir. Russell and Jonas Ladson 
behind a movement at Paxton to open a coal mine. The Paxton 
Coal Company organized, with capital of $4,500. Preparing to sink 
a shaft on farm of Jonas Ladson where the railroad crosses the 
Caledonia road. 

March 12, 1873 — Hinkle and Plough sinking a shaft at Pittsburg 
in Jackson township ; Stansil & Co. to commence hoisting coal on 
Usrey farm; coal of good quality struck at Paxton at depth of 157 


May 21, 1873 — Mr. Daniel Case working a mine in Traders 
Hollow, in Cass township, with 7-foot vein of solid coal, a little 
better than the Silver Fork coal, hitherto the best in the conntv. 
S. R. Hamill and a Mr. Thomas in this township recentl}-, consider- 
ing the building of a switch from the E. & C. Railroad to the mines. 

Aug. 19, 1874 — Prospecting shaft at Shelburn, sunk below coal 
K, was a failure, a vein of inferior soft coal 2 feet i inch thick 
being the prize of their labor. 

Aug. 19, 1874 — After nine months of work without cajjital 
except their own industry and perseverance, the Handford brothers, 
having dug 201 feet, discovered a vein of good coal 3^/2 feet thick. 
In August, 1878, an item stated that the Sullivan shaft vf the Hand- 
ford brothers employed 18 or 20 miners, and that wages had been 
advanced 10 cents a ton. Their original shaft had been sunk con- 
siderably deeper and the}- were then working a much better vein of 
coal. Nov. 21, 1878 — About 4 p. m. explosion at Handford mine 
killed eight men, including Thomas and Samuel Handford. The 
explosion took place in the lower vein and was caused bv a careless 
miner who used powder instead of a pick in opening an air passage, 
after having been warned of the presence of gas in the passages. 

Nov. II, 1874 — x\nnouncement made that special coal trains 
were being run over the E. & C. R. R. between Terre Haute and 

Feb. 26, 1879 — Coal in 4-foot vein, at a depth of 75 feet, found 
in Turman township on the land of F. M. Brown. 

Aug. 15, 1884 — Currysville Coal Co. of Sullivan county has 
been incorporated under the laws of the state, the purposes being 
to develop mining lands and utilize clay in the manufacture of brick. 
The capital stock, $50,000, the incorporators being George C. Rich- 
ardson, Isaac Woolley, M. B. Wilson, John C. Chaney, Henry 

June 8, i888^The board of equalization has been wrestling two 
days with attorney of the New Pittsburg Coal Co. over raising the 
valuation of the company's property from $9,000 to $20,000. The 
board have raised the valuations of other coal companies several 
thousand dollars each. The coal plant of the Pittsburg company, 
including the coke ovens, has cost about $50,000, and being new, 
would sell for at least two-thirds of that amount. 


Feb. 7, 1883 — ]\Ii"ners employed by the Shelburn Coal Co. at 
Sullivan and Shelburn are out on a strike. The price paid here has 
been $1.06 a ton, at Shelburn 90 cents. On Feb. ist price was 
reduced at Sullivan to 86 cents and 69 cents at Shelburn because the 
railroad refuses to pay over one dollar a ton : price has been $1.25. 
The difference in price is caused by the difficulty of getting at the 
coal both here and at Shelburn. 

June 15, 1886 — Company has been organized to work the mine 
on the farm of Noah Crawford in Jackson township near the Cla\' 
county line. A contract has been made with the E. & T. H. R. R. 
by which that railroad company binds itself to construct and have 
in running order by September ist a branch line from the mine to 
a point on the main line about one mile south of Farmersburg. The 
mine was near Alum Cave, at which a house was erected for the 

Jul}^ 12, 1886 — Excitement created by the announcement that 
the drill at the gas well had gone through an immense vein of 
cannel coal. 

Nov. I, 1887 — Stock company has been organized at Pleasant- 
ville to mine coal. The town is underlaid with coal of superior qual- 
ity, and coal that was mined here took the gold medal at the New 
Orleans exposition. 

Feb. 8, 1889 — Options have been taken on large bodies of land 
near Pittsburg in Jackson township by a syndicate of capitalists in 
which Pres. Mackey (E. & T. H. R. R.) is interested. A branch is 
to be run from the coal road now in operation between Farmersburg 
and Alum Cave to Pittsburg. 

Feb. 12, 1889 — The Superior Coal Company had sunk shaft on 
Shoefstall farm in south Cass township, built a house for the miners, 
and put in approved machinery. A branch of the I. & A\ R. R. 
was constructed to the mine, but the coal has since been found to be 
defective and the mine is to be abandoned. Oct. 25, 1889 — Reported 
that Superior mine is to resume work after idleness of about a year. 

May 17, 1889 — Town of Pittsburg is surveyed and lots platted. 

Feb. 10, 1891 — Citizens' meeting held at office of I. H. Kalley 
to consider the propriety of testing the 22-foot vein of cannel coal 
said to underlie the town (Sullivan) at a depth of 500 feet. Sev- 
eral committees appointed. March 13 — Meeting at the town hall on 


March iitli was addressed by Thomas i*. Fry of Chicago on subject 
of boring with diamond drill to test the existence of this coal vein. 
Dr. Crowder, C. VV. Welman, Charles Padgett, C. L. Davis, 
\Vm. Wilson, Stewart Barnes appointed a committee to canvass for 

Feb. 27, 1 891 — The New Lebanon people are prospecting for 
coal. At Pleasantville a meeting was called in the M. E. church 
on the 1 8th to consider the advisability of organizing to drill for 

Oct. 20, 1893 — The coal company that has lately opened a mine 
at Star City have bought 2,400 acres of land in the vicinity. The 
railroad is building a track from Hardersville to the mine. 

Jan. 6, 1894 — The 84,000 bushels of coal shipped daily from 
Jackson township require 140 cars of 600 bushels each. 

May 19, 1893 — The Island Coal Company loses its buildings at 
the Superior mine by fire on the early morning of May 14th. The 
loss included a block of coal weighing 5,700 pounds, mined at great 
expense for exhibition at the world's fair. The mines are the largest 
in the county. Loss, $50,000. 

Feb. 7, 1893 — Jackson Hill Coal Co., or members of that com- 
pany, who own land in all directions around Hardersville, are sinking 
another shaft at a point four miles west of Hardersville. 

Feb. 17, 1893 — First-class coal can always be bought in Sullivan 
for two dollars a ton. 

May 12, 1893 — The Sentinel of May 9th reports that articles of 
incorporation of the West Jackson Coal Mining and Transportation 
Co. were filed ; capital stock, $500,000 ; directors, John T. Hays, 
Sullivan, Emerson B. Morgan and W. F. Nisbet of Evansville. 

July 4, 1893 — ^ force of workmen have been put at work on 
the extension of the branch railroad to Hardersville, which will fur- 
nish an outlet for coal from the new mine being opened up near the 
King postoffice, where a town is being laid out to be called Star 
City. W^hen completed ( ?) the line will make a loop from Farmers- 
burg circling through Hymera, Hardersville and Star City, striking 
the main line again at Currysville. The coal business along the line 
of the I. & I. S. also being developed. A new mine has been 
opened on the edge of Busseron bottom, another near Dugger, 


^vhile the Hancock and Conkle mine is to be improved ^vith new- 

Feb. 13, 1894 — The Jackson Hill mine at Hardersville \vas 
tlooded on the 9th by the bursting of the reservoir used to furnish 
water for running the compressor. Over two hundred men were in 
the mine at the time, and alarmed by the roar of the water all 
started for the shaft. In order to reach it they had to cross the 
sump, in which the water had risen to within 18 inches of the roof. 
George Sargent, pit boss, took a position near the sump and remained 
standing in the water until he had seen the last man across. 

July 20, 1899 — Scarcely a week passes without news of invest- 
ments in coal lands or of improvements in different plants in the 
county. The output of 1898 was the largest in the history of the 
county, nearly 700,000 tons, which is an increase of nearly fifty per 
cent over 1897. Miners have had steady employment at good wages, 
and no trouble of importance between them and the operators. All 
the old companies are running mines at full time. Xew shafts are 
being sunk one mile south of Dugger b}- Ingle and Co. of Evans- 
ville, who will employ 100 men and ship 500 tons daily ; by the 
Hymera Company, to a recently tested vein seven feet thick and said 
to be of first-class Cjuality ; by the Jackson Hill Coal and Coke Com- 
pany, near Eagle, who are lining their shaft with steel and equipping 
the plant with the latest electrical machinery ; at Farmersburg, Xoah 
Crawford, president of the company, is putting in new machinery and 
enlarging the plant. The E. & T. H. R. R. is building branches to 
the new mines. 

Xov. 9, 1899 — The Bunker Hill mine, owned by W. H. Crow- 
der, to be improved with a 160-horsepower electrical mining engine. 

Sept. 5, 1901 — Seven-foot vein opened at depth of 300 feet at 
Jackson Hill No. 3, three miles west of Jackson Hill postoffice. 

March 6, 1902 — ^^'alter Bogle, coal operator of Chicago, has 
taken options on three or four thousand acres of land northeast of 
Sullivan, and purchased part of the land. 

July 10, 1902- — The United Coal Co. incorporated last week, 
with $100,000 capital, own 1,200 acres in Cass township along the 
I. C. Railroad. John T. Hays, Judge D. \\'. Henry and C. J. Sher- 
man, directors. 

July 10, 1902 — The United Coal Company are paying cash for 


the lands bought in Cass township. In the past week John T. I lavs 
and Judge Henry have paid out $30,000 and have $10,000 more to 
complete the deal for the 1,200 acres. 

April 17, 1902 — Little Giant Coal Co. organized with a capital 
of $100,000, the incorporators being John S. Bays, Cuthbert J. 
Sherman and Lee F. Bays. Their lands located one mile north of 

Pleasantville. Walter S. Bogle Coal Co. has been incorporated, 

directors being Walter S. Bogle, Norman S. Birkland, Charles W. 
Gilmore, of Chicago, and John S. Bays and Walter S. Bogle, Jr.. 
of Sullivan. Home office at Sullivan. The mine is two miles north 
of Sullivan, on the Southern Indiana, on land formerly owned by 
Dan. S. Herbert, and the company has bought 1,700 acres northeast 
of Sullivan. 

July 10, 1902 — The Ehrmisch Coal Co. of Brazil is buying 1,000 
acres from D. E. Everhart, Austin Everhart, and T. C, J. H. and 
Airs. W. H. Alagill, at fifty dollars an acre. Of the 400 acres sold 
by D. E. Everhart at $20,000, half of it was bought by him a few 
years ago for $2,000, and he paid for it through hard work and 

Aug. 28, 1902 — J. D. Terhunc made payments yesterda}- on 800 
acres south of the White Rabbit mine, in Cass and Jefferson town- 
ships. The stockholders of the new company being mosth- residents 
of Jefifersonville and New Albany, they have called their company 
the Jefiferson Coal Co. 

C)ct. 2, 1902 — Almost the entire east half of the county is now 
either sold or under option to coal companies. The largest mine is 
the Bogle, northeast of Sullivan, which is now prepared to ship coal. 
The shaft is 180 feet deep. This mine wall employ 400 men. 

Nov. 13, 1902 — Another attempt to organize a coal trust fails. 
The project was in the hands of A. M. Ogle, J. Smith Talley, J. K. 
Siefert, Jacob Kolsem and other well-known operators, who designed 
to organize all the mines of the state. The profits of the coal industry 
for the previous months had been so large that the properties were 
held at inflated values, and investors would not btiy. 

Dec. 20, 1902 — The largest deal in coal lands yet closed in the 
county was transacted when the Manufacturers Mining and Fuel Co. 
secured 1,200 acres of coal lands in Hamilton township, about a mile 
north of Sullivan. Anderson and Aluncie capital behind the deal. 


Test drillers had been working there night and day for three months, 
the tests showing a thickness of five feet in No. 6 vein, five and a 
third feet in No. 5, and a fair vein of No. 7, with good roof. The 
Southern Indiana Railroad was projected to pass through the middle 
of this land, and it was also accessible by the Illinois Central. 

Dec. 25, 1902 — All the coal lands east of the E. & T. H. R. R. 
said to be taken np. Jackson township except in the extreme north 
is honeycombed with the mines of Harder and Hafer, wdio also 
operate 1.200 acres for the E. & T. H. R. R., the Ehrmann Coal 
Company, the Fairbanks Land & Improvement Co., and the New 
Pittsburg Coal & Coke Co. Cass township has many small operators. 

D. J. Terhune and the U. S. Steel Corporation have 1,200 acres. 
The largest mine is now the Wolford in Curry township. Job, 
McDonald and Alatson have 1.200 acres for the ^Mammoth Co. in 
Hamilton township, Keller Mining Co. has 1,400 acres. Bogle Mining 
Co. has 1.280 acres. Green Hill Coal and Mining Co. has 1,000 acres 
— all in Hamilton township. Drilling has also begun west of the 
railroad. Land selling at double the price of a year ago. 

Jan. I, 1903 — Louis Hicks, representing a syndicate of Indian- 
apolis men, has ordered abstracts of 900 acres just west of the South- 
ern Indiana Coal Co. at Gilmour. William Zellars of Brazil, who 
recently bought i .000 acres, has purchased another thousand. Some 
land is bought complete, at $50 for "the top," and $40 for the 

Jan. 8, 1903 — U. S. Steel Corporation is engaged in securing 
2,000 acres between Farmersburg and Shelburn. The most serious 
obstacle now with operators is scarcity of miners. 

Jan. 22. 1903 — Manufacturers and Consumers Fuel Co. of 
Anderson has purchased 2,700 acres of coal land in Hamilton town- 
ship. The coal is badly needed in the gas-belt factories, and shafts 
will be sunk at once. 

Jan. 22, 1903 — The Fairbanks Coal Co. has been organized to 
supply that township, whose residents now have to go east of the 

E. & T. H. R. R. for their coal, sometimes waiting 24 or 48 hours 
for their turn. The capital of $6,000 is all subscribed, and the drill- 
ing commenced Monday. 

March 5, 1903 — The Indiana Harbor R. R. Co. buys 1,980 acres 


west of Farmersburg ; must mean that that railroad is coming to the 
county ( ? ) . 

April 16, 1903 — Shaft to be sunk for the E. & T. H. R. R. five 
miles northeast of Sullivan. New York capitalists buy 6,000 acres 
in Cass and Fladdon townships, and four mines to be opened at once. 
It is expected that the Monon will run its Summit-X'incennes exten- 
sion through this tract. 

May 28, 1903 — James Epperson, state mine inspector, estimates 
that the mining capacity of coal mines will be increased about 20 
])er cent this year, due to the increase of facilities. This increase is 
almost entirel)' confined to (ireene and Sullivan counties. 

July ]6, 1903 — J. K. Dering of Chicago gets 4,000 acres from 

Paxton to the Jefferson township line. County Assessor Francis 

E. Walters estimates that 50,000 acres of mineral land in this county 
have been sold at an average of $30 per acre. In nearly all the deeds 
inflated values have been assigned, and according to the considera- 
tion named in the deeds about $3,000,000 has been paid into the 
countv. At the present time the sales average about 2,000 acres a 

Aug. 13, 1903 — Eleven mines are now under construction within 
a radius of seven miles north and east of Sullivan. 

Aug. 20, 1903 — J. Smith Talley, Charles J. Barnes, F. T. Dicka- 
son and others have incoporated the Shirley Coal Co., $650,000 capi- 
tal, to work in Cass township. 

Sept. 10, 1903 — According to the state mine inspector, Mr. 
Epperson, nine-tenths of the coal development in the state is in 
Sullivan and Greene counties, though fourteen counties ship coal. 
The Southern Indiana Railroad has done much to give facilities. 
The annual output in these two counties reaches about 5,000,000 

Oct. 15, 1903 — The coal company of Fairbanks have laid out a 
town of 26 lots, and have voted to call it Dixie, but as there is another 
postoffice of that name in the state it will have to be changed. 

Nov. 19. 1903 — Mining operations handicapped by great scarcity 
of cars, especially t)n the Southern Indiana. 

March 3, 1904 — The Indiana & Chicago Coal Co. will sink two 
shafts to veins 3 and 4. One shaft north of Dugger will ship over 
the I. C. and Southern Indiana, while the one south of Dugger will 

Vol. 1—17 


use the Indianapolis Southern and the IndianapoHs and Vincennes. 
The sinking of so man_y shafts puts Sullivan county in good condi- 
tion to stand a strike. 

Aug. II, 1904 — The Fairbanks Coal Co. about read}- for busi- 
ness. Their coal is surpassed in point of combustible matter by only 
one mine in the state. 

Jan. 12, 1905 — The largest deal in coal mines yet consummated 
in Indiana has been or will be closed within the next few days. 
Twelve or more big mines along the C. & E. I. and the E. & T. H. 
railroads have been acquired by the Bering Coal Co. of Chicago, 
formed under the corporation laws of Delaware and capitalized at 
$5,000,000. It is understood that the Frisco System is back of the 
enterprise. Nearly every mine acquired has a capacity of two 
thousand tons a day. Some of the mines lie near Clinton, and two 
are in Illinois. 

Feb. 2. 1905 — Report of state geologist: New shafts sunk 
in Indiana, 37; in Sullivan county, 10; Clay county, 6; Greene 
county, 6 ; abandoned in Indiana, 11; in Sullivan county, o. Tons 
mined in Sullivan county for past year, 1,553.338, giving this county 
third place. Powder used in Greene county, 51,633 kegs; in Vigo 
county, 71,669 kegs; in Sullivan county, 23,526 kegs. One keg 
mines 43 tons in Greene county, 24 tons in Meo, and 65 tons in 
Sullivan. Sullivan county employs 275 pick miners, 178 machine 
miners anrl helpers, 908 loaders, 476 inside day and monthly men, 
and 283 outside day men. Seventeen mines in operation in Sul- 
livan county. Nine fatal accidents in this county, out of 55 in the 
entire state. 

Feb. 16, 1905 — Bering Coal Co. absorbs the Willfred mine in 
Jackson township, of which Paul Wright was president and largest 

Feb. 23, 1905 — A Chicago syndicate has closed deal for 1,500 
acres of land in Curry township, northeast of Shelburn. Market 
• for coal lands is now Axry dull, owing to the depressed condition 
of the coal trade. 

jNIarch 30, 1905 — The mining company at Alum Cave is pre- 
paring to move its property. The mine has now been burning for 
three years. 

April 6, 1905 — Nine mines owned by a company of which J. 


K. Seifert of Chicago is the head have been transferred to the In- 
diana Southern Coal Company of which D. W. Cummins is presi- 
dent. Rumored that John R. Walsh is at the head of the new 
company. The nine mines, which brought $2,000,000, include the 
Shelburn, Citizens, Cummins, Alum Cave, Gilmour, Green Hill, In- 
diana Hocking and the mines of the Forest Coal Company and 
the Pittsburg Coal Co. — The mines of the Bering Company have 
contracts to furnish coal to the C. & E. I., Frisco, part of the Rock 
Island System, and some plants of the U. S. Steel Corporation. 

May 4, 1905 — A New York syndicate has bought seven of the 
largest mines in the county for about $2,500,000, John S. Bays 
having managed the deal. The properties include the St. Clair 
mine of the North Jackson Hill Coal and Alining Co., the White 
Ash mine of the Hymera Coal and Mining Co., the Star City mine 
of the Harder and Hafer Coal Mining Co., the Union Coal Co., the 
Glendora mine of the W. S. Bogle Coal and Mining Co., and the 
Kellar Coal Co. Ten thousand acres are involved in the trans- 
action, with an annual output of about two million tons. It is 
certain that the railroads are behind the deal. 

j\Iay 4, 1905 — Indiana Southern Coal Co., of which D. W. 
Cummins is president and J. K. Seifert secretary and treasurer, 
has closed deal for 2,200 acres of undeveloped coal land lying south 
of Jackson Hill in Cass and Jackson townships. 

May 19, 1905 — John S. Bays is named as the Indiana agent 
of the Consolidated Coal Co., a Maine corporation capitalized at 
$4,000,000, of which $3,400,000 is the amount represented in In- 
diana. The company owns eight Sullivan county mines in opera- 
tion and has leases over several thousand acres in the county. This 
company is one of three large ones which have been fighting the 
past year for control of that field. (Indianapolis News.) 

May 19, 1905 — R. B. Harder and Hymera Coal Co. pay out 
more than $80,000 to farmers for coal lands in Jftckson township. 

May 25, 1905 — Thousands of acres in Haddon, Turman, Fair- 
banks and Gill townships have been optioned for coal in the last 
few months. 

June 22, 1905 — Lattas Creek Coal Co. buys out Keystone Coal 
Co. and about $80,000 worth of coal lands besides, all in northern 
Cass township. Indiana Southern Coal Co. supposed to be back of 
the transaction. 


July 13. 1905 — The \'andalia Coal Co.. the largest of six big 
combinations and capitalized at $7,000,000. is buying in Sullivan 
county the Island A'alley Coal Co.. the Indiana & Chicago, the In- 
dianapolis and Sullivan, the Superior mine, and the property of the 
J. Smith Talley Coal Co.. containing 2,200 acres of undeveloped 

July 20. 1905 — Seventy mines in Indiana have now been 
merged into six big operating companies. 

July 2~ . 1905 — Pennsylvania capitalists have drill at work on 
the Joe Akin farm near Carlisle. The Frisco System has leased 
2.000 acres near there. 

Sept. 7. 1905 — Alines Xos. i and 2. or Consolidated 31 and ^2, 
at H}mera, were shut down a day or two ago, and it is reported 
they will not resume work for thirty days. The only reason so far 
as the public knows is that there is no market for the coal and that 
the company can not get it hauled into Chicago. The Hymera 
people hope that when Walsh gets his road into Chicago that such 
difficulties will be solved. 

Sept. 14. 1905 — Better times are predicted as result of merger. 
The A'andalia Coal Co., which is the holding, company of the A'an- 
dalia Railroad, assumes control of eighteen coal companies dis- 
tributed in A igo. Clay. Greene. Sullivan and Knox comities. 

Nov. 20. 1905 — Coal mining industry looks brighter at Dugger. 
Keeley mine, which has been closed since last August for repairs, 
has opened with a small force. New shaker screens and endless 
rope system of haulage have been installed so that capacity of mine 
has been increased. New steel tipple at Caledonia soon to be com- 

Dec. 21. 1905 — Secretary of the U. Al. W. of A. reports that the 
mines in the iith district work only about four days a week. 

Jan. 6, 1906 — The blockades are lifted and car shortage felt at 
only a few places. The railroads handled more Indiana coal in 
December than in the same month last year. 

Jan. II. 1906 — The Paragon Coal Co.. capitalized at $5,000.- 
000. has been organized at Terre Haute with headquarters there. 
To operate mines about Shelburn and Farmersburg. 

Jan. 2^, 1906 — The coal trade in Illinois and Indiana less 
satisfactorv than last vear. The shot-firers bill caused a shut- 


down of eight days througlunil llie state, the tirst general shut- 
down since 1897. 

Feb. I, 1906 — Government tests at St. Louis show that Indiana 
coal is the greatest steam-producing coal in the country. 

Feb. 15, 1906 — -The Consolidated Indiana Coal Co. sell some 
large mines in this county to the Bering Coal Co. Understood to 
mean that the Rock Island interests have assumed control of both 

The Strike of 1906. 

April 5. 1906 — The miners working in the mines owned by 
members of the operators' association were all out on a holiday • 
April 2. Many were in town making the most of what is expected 
to be a few days' strike. No Sullivan county operators have yet 
signed the 1903 scale, but some have signified their willingness, and 
operators in other parts of the state are signing. 

April 19, 1906 — Miners have been idle two weeks, and business 
men complain. There is not the usual amount of drunkenness. 
Squire High of Fontanet asked the brewing companies not to fol- 
low their former custom of sending free beer to aid the miners, and 
the brewers heeded the request. In former years there was much 
carousing during a period of idleness among the miners. The 
Sullivan County Coal Co. at Dugger has signed the scale, being the 
third member of the operators association to do so, and for this it 
will ]irobably be expelled from the association. The Carlisle Clay 
and Coal Co. had signed previously, and both mines are open and a 
full force at work. 

May 10. 1906 — The fear that the railioads would refuse to 
furnish cars deters many small operators from signing scale. Dis- 
trict President O'Connor furnishes statement to show that at least 
ten large owners have signed. 

May 24, 1906 — The joint convention of miners and operators 
fails to agree. The miners declare that it would be unfair to arbi- 
trate as long as enough operators have signed to produce one-fourth 
of the regular output of the state. 

June 14, 1906 — Agreement is reached by the strike committee 
of the Indiana miners and the operators on June 13th, after a ses- 


sion of 17 days. Four hours after signing of the agreement the 
whistle of Citizens Mine announced work to begin following day. 
The men to get the 1903 scale, but agree to some changes of con- 
ditions. The 1903 scale means an increase of five and a half per- 
cent over the scale of 1904-05. About 52 mines had agreed to the 
scale between April i and June i, and about 3,000 miners were at 
work before the final agreement. 

July 19, 1906 — The Carlisle mine resumes work after being 
closed two weeks, new machinery having been installed to increase 
the output from 200 tons to 2,000 tons a day. 

Aug. 2, 1906 — -There is no demand for coal, and the miners of 
the nth district are practically without work. The only mines 
working, are those under contract to supply manufacturing concerns. 

Oct. 4, 1906 — The government reports five important mining 
consolidations in Indiana during 1905. The Vandalia took the 
Island Coal Co. in Sullivan and Greene counties, the Indiana & 
Chicago Coal Co. in Sullivan county, as well as many mines in 
other counties. The Bering company bought the J. Wooley Coal 
Co.. Brouillets Creek Coal Co., Wilfred Coal Co., Indian Fuel Co., 
\\\ S. Bogle Coal and Mining Co., Willow Grove Coal Co., in Sul- 
livan, Vigo and \ ermillion counties. The Consolidated Indiana 
Coal Co. merged the properties of the North Jackson Hill Coal 
]\Iining Co., the Sullivan County Coal Mining Co., the Union Coal 
Co., Harder and Hafcr Coal Mining Co., Hymera Coal Mining Co., 
and Kellar Coal Co., all but one being in Sullivan county. The In- 
diana Southern Coal Co. took over the Indiana Hocking Coal Co., 
the Citizens Coal Co., the Cummings Coal Co., the Rainbow Coal 
Co., New Pittsburg Coal and Coke Co., Greene Hill Coal and Min- 
ing Co. in this county. Many other properties were brought under 
one management by the transactions of the large companies in ad- 
joining counties. 

March 14, 1907 — Nearly every mine in the nth district run- 
ning on half time on account, it is claimed, of no demand for coal. 
Miners are facing one of the most serious propositions in the his- 
tory of the district. 

April 23, 1907 — AH joint traffic rates on coal existing between 
the Southern Indiana and the Big. Four railroads to sixty cities on 
the latter road have been suspended. It is understood that many if 


not most of the thirty mines on the Southern Indiana wih be com- 
pelled to cease operations. Many mines are already closed for re- 
pairs, lack of work, great amount of coal on hand, and no market. 
Because of the withdrawal of the rates no coal from the nth district 
is sent into the gas belt. 

March 14, 1908 — 16,000 miners in the nth district vote to 
strike. The fining system, docking, delivery of powder, and top 
wages are the subjects of contention. Miners claim that they are 
fined for failure to live up to contract, when there is no correspon- 
ding penalty for the operators. It is considered an inopportune 
time for strike, since there is no demand for coal. 

June 30, 1908 — T. E. Willard, the government expert in the 
employ of the geological survey, has visited and examined all the 
mines in the county except a few small ones. He thinks the mines 
in Indiana far superior to those of other states in methods used. 
West Virginia is the only state outside of Pennsylvania where he 
has seen mines in the same class with those in Sullivan county so 
far as methods go. 

Oil and Gas. 

During the present decade Sullivan county has attained to some im- 
portance in the production of oil and gas. Its oil wells have proved 
comparatively small as measured with the oil districts of adjacent coun- 
ties, both in this state and in Illinois, but the discovery of gas about two 
years ago has earned for the county the title of the "Sullivan county gas 

Shortly after the close of the Civil war some interest was taken in 
the deposits of oil which were disclosed in the Wabash valley. At Terre 
Haute a deep well, being sunk by Chauncey Rose, struck oil in small 
quantities, but the discovery was not appreciated. This was in 1865, only 
a few years after Drake and his associates had begun the development 
of the oil regions about Titusville, Pennsylvania. The use of the new 
fuel and its appearance in the markets of the world were regarded with 
much interest, and the discussion of the oil deposits, the methods of ob- 


taining" it from wells, and its value as a natural resource attracted atten- 
tion everywhere. So it is not strange that the possibility of oil deposits 
in Sullivan county was often considered, and evidences of oil would at- 
tract popular attention. The first published item of this kind so far as 
known w'as contained in the Democrat of February 9, 1865, in which it 
is stated that a well of drinking water on the lot of Air. Otto is afifected 
by the taste of petroleum, and that indications of oil appear on the sur- 
face of the water after it has stood for awhile. An intention w-as ex- 
pressed to bore for oil in that locality. 

The following year (1866) proved to be one of much excitement 
over the oil development in this county. In January it was reported that 
the Oil and Mining Company of Celina. Ohio, had leased 1,100 acres of 
land about ten miles northwest of Sullivan with the purpose of boring for 
oil. M. Beardsley of Merom was one of the incorporators of the 

A little later two companies were formed to test for oil. In one of 
the bores made, gas was discovered in such cjuantities that the work could 
not be continued and the well was plugged. Natural gas was not yet in 
favor as fuel. 

In May the Sullivan County Oil and Mining Company secured the 
lease of a well which had been bored by the railroad company some six 
or eight years before, near the Sullivan depot. After being sunk about 
600 feet, the well was abandoned. At this depth, stated the Democrat, a 
peculiar substance had been found which at the time was unknown, but 
which was now believed to be petroleum. 

The interest in oil soon died out, and the work of prospecting, was 
not productive of any practical results. More than three decades passed 
before attention was again paid to the oil and gas deposits of this section 
of the state. 


The renewal of the efforts to develop the oil and gas deposits of 
of the county began with the opening of the present century, alwut 
coincident with the opening of the western Indiana and eastern Illinois 
fields. But actual operations in this county are still more recent, x^t the 
close of 1904 what was known as the Sullivan Gas and Oil Company 
(J. P. Johnson, of Princeton, president ; F. J. Biggs, Princeton, secretary, 
and Sam A. White, of Sullivan, treasurer) leased a large amount of land 
in the western part of the county, and test wells were sunk in some 
places. Oil was discovered on the McGrew farm east of Farmersburg, 
and gas was struck at a depth of 250 feet by Harder and Hafer, south- 
east of that town. 

The most important development of gas, which brought into general 
use the term "Sullivan county gas field," centered in the striking of gas 
on the Jamison farm about two miles west of Sullivan, where the pres- 
ence of derricks, the working of the pumps and the pipes at the roadside' 
are evidence of a prosperous gas field. On the night of April 16, 1907, 
the drill penetrated to the gas, and all night long the well continued to 
blow out oil and stone. A few days later tests showed 300 pounds rock 
pressure, said to be within 50 pounds of the strongest well in the state. 
The lamison farm has since continued the largest scene of operations in 
this county, both for gas and oil. During the year half a dozen wells 
were put down, and in November wells 4, 5 and 6 were reported to yield 
about forty barrels of oil a day. 

The following items from the Democrat indicate the progress 
of the oil and gas development : 

Aug. 17, 1905 — The Jones Oil and Gas Company, the largest 
independent operators in the state, have leased 2,100 acres near 
Dugger, and 5,000 acres near Carlisle; boring to begin soon. 

Dec. 28. 1905 — Gas has been struck at a depth of 535 feet by 
the Fairbanks Gas and Coal Co. ; Jan. 4, 1906 — the gas has been 
piped to the engine boiler and boring continued, in search of oil. 


Alay 3, 1906 — The well on the farm of J. W. Bowen near Fair- 
banks was shot at depth of 440 feet, and said to have a capacity of 
ten or fifteen barrels a day. 

June 7, 1906 — Articles of incorporation of the Carlisle Oil and 
Cas Co. filed; $10,000 capital at one dollar per share. To drill on 
the farms of Finley Collins and William R. Colvin southeast of 

July 16, 1906 — Egypt Oil and Gas Co. files articles of incor- 
poration to work in Indiana and Illinois. Sullivan men backing the 

Dec. 2"/. 1906 — Company formed at Farmersburg'. Its first 
test well at depth of 1,900 feet yields few indications of oil. 

Feb. 21, 1907 — A little gas and some oil found at the well on 
the Julius Hoseman farm southeast of Merom. Well was drilled 
to 1. 1 00 feet, then plugged to 700 feet where a layer of oil sand 
had been found, and was then shot; April 11 — estimated that from 
10 to 25 barrels of oil are now flowing from this well, with a large 
quantity of salt water. 

April, 1907 — Work has begun on T. H. jMason farm, south 
of the Jamison farm, and a company of local men leased about 
1,100 acres near Sullivan and began drilling on the Frank Mason 
farm south of town. 

Jan. 9, 1908 — Hamilton Oil and Gas Co. has sold 1,000 barrels 
of oil to a Terre Haute firm from the Jamison wells. 

April 25, 1907 — Good flow at the Barnard well 100 feet south 
of the Jamison. 

May 23, 1907 — Oil sand struck at the Park Osborne well five 
miles northwest of Sullivan at depth of 527 feet. — Bailey McCon- 
nell, president of the Carlisle Oil and Gas Co., has sig-ned over all 
the leases held by them on 4,000 acres southeast of Carlisle to the 
Union Oil Co. of Pennsylvania. 

April 9, 1908 — The Big Four Oil and Gas Co. of Bridgeport, 
Illinois, has leased hundreds of acres near Farnsworth and begun 
the building of the biggest rig in the county. 

May 7, 1908 — The Crawford Oil Co., after spending thousands 
of dollars and months of time, is about to abandon the territory 
east of Paxton. 

June 18, 1908 — A corps of surveyors now at work in Sullivan 
county for the Tide Water pipe line. 



Sullivan count}- has no banking institutions within its boundaries 
(luring the pioneer history. Yet the residents of the county were not 
without banking facilities, though to get them it was necessary to go to 
Terre Haute on the north or Vincennes on the south. 

The absence of a bank in any considerable center of trade would 
in this modern age be felt as a serious drawback. It is almost a daily 
occurrence for the merchant and business man of Sullivan county to buy 
the credit of his local bank for the purpose of transacting business with 
distant centers. Instead of using his individual credit to pay for goods 
in the wholesale markets of Chicago or St. Louis, he uses the official 
paper and name of the local bank, which is a recognized medium for 
such transactions. An}- other method of doing business would result in 
delays and losses that would not be tolerated in this commercial age. 

It was very different in the early years of Sullivan county. The 
business of the community was then primitive and simple ; now it is 

What constituted the business activities of the county during the 
years following its first settlement ? It is possible to answer this question 
without omitting any important interest. 

The supply and demand which comprehended the trade and industry 



of the time were limited to the articles that are needed by society in a 
frontier condition. The demand was for things to eat; clothing and 
shelter: and the implements that were used in the field, in the house and 
in the mills. The local production of things included under these heads 
was almost sufificient to satisfy the demand. The farmer grew his wheat 
and corn, from which his bread was made; raised the hogs from which 
came his supply of pork or obtained a considerable portion of his meat 
from the wild game in the woods. The forest supplied material for 
building and furniture. The flax, and in early days, the cotton, raised in 
the fields, was converted by housewifely diligence and skill into garments 
for all members of the family. 

\\dien the simple economy of the pioneers is considered, it is sur- 
prising that the amount of trade was as large as it was. Like many 
Robinson Crusoes, the settlers lived by consuming only what nature 
and their own efiforts produced. 

Nevertheless, there was some degree of classification of industry. 
The individual pounded or ground his corn with his own crude imple- 
ments only until the first mill was built. The flour mill was the most 
important institution in the new country, and with its establishment came 
the miller, who depended on the patronage of his neighbors to supply him 
with the means of subsistence. 

Though so much was grown and wrought on the farm, there was 
still necessity for a central place where the rarer articles of common use 
might be ke])t for sale. The stock in trade of the early merchant was 
limited in variety, yet the trade in staples was sufificient to make many 
a fortune for men who engaged in such trade during the early years. 

This limited business was carried on mainly upon the principles of 
barter and exchange and credit. The merchant had more accounts then, 
comparatively, than now. And wdien settlement was made, instead of 


satisfying the account with a check or cash, the debtor very usually dis- 
posed of his wheat or corn, or live stock, through the merchant, and 
accounts were' squared with very little money being used in the trans- 

It was of course necessary that "a balance of trade" should be 
maintained — that the goods imported for use in the county should be 
balanced by goods of equal value exported from the county, or the dif- 
ference had to be made good by cash payment. But for a number of 
years the balance was kept very even. The amount of grain and peltries 
and lumber, etc.. sent down the river to the world markets, measured 
very exactly the amount of goods that would be brought back in return. 
Capital came in slowl\" and was very quickly absorbed. 

The result of all this was that very little money — meaning by that 
silver and gold and its substitutes — circulated in Sullivan county. The 
wealth of the country was held in the forests, in the fields and granaries, 
and in the stores. There was no surplus, no large amount of coin kept 
on hand to meet the exigencies of daily commerce ; hence there was little 
need for a bank as a place of safe deposit. And since the few merchants, 
who did the business for the community, had individual credit at the large 
trade centers, there was little need for an institution that would furnish 
exchange and credit to distant cities. Money being unknown, banks 
had no cause to exist. 

Savs W. H. Smith in his "History of Indiana": "In the early set- 
tlement of the territory, such a thing as money was practically unknown, 
peltries being used as the only currency. All values were based upon 
what the article would bring in coon skins, muskrat skins and other furs. 
Such a state of affairs could only exist in a sparsely settled country, 
where manufactures were unknown, and where the only trading done 
was for the actual necessities of life. In those early days the settlers 


raised on their little farms about all they needed to sustain life, and their 
purchases were limited to salt, iron, dye-stufifs and a few articles of that 
character. For those they exchanged wheat, corn, hogs and peltries." 

As population increased and the social and industrial organization 
becaiue more complex, came a demand for currency that would represent 
values, and could be subject to the flexible uses of exchange without the 
more cumbersome and primitive methods hitherto in vogue. The gold 
and silver medium could not be obtained. A paper currency was sought 
instead. Originally intended, on its face value, to represent actual 
wealth. Practice soon produced a wide variance between the shadow and 
the substance, and instead of representing wealth actually existing, this 
paper currency soon came to represent only "a promise to pay," wath 
no security as a basis. 

Though such currency might be honestly issued to represent current 
values, it often happened that the security declined in value, so that when 
the "promise to pay" returned to its author, the latter found no resource 
to satisfy his note, which could be redeemed only at a large discount. 

Thus the period during the war of 1812 was one of prosperity, 
owing to the increase of values caused by the war and the large sums 
disbursed by the government. At the close of hostilities, the war values 
suddenly declined and the enormous issue of notes representing such con- 
fidence and prosperity became nearly worthless paper in the hands of the 
holders, who had no recourse against the issuing institutions, which were 
in large number swept away during the panic. 

State Bank. 

In 1814 the territorial legislature of Indiana had chartered a banking 
institution at Vincennes, with a capital stock of five hundred thousand 
dollars, and one at Madison, with a capital of seven hundred and fifty 


thousand dollars. The bills issued on this capital were returned during 
the panic, but only a small part was redeemed. 

In the first constitution of the state of Indiana appeared a provision 
that "there shall not be established or incorporated in this state any bank 
or banking company, or moneyed institution, for the purpose of issuing 
bills of credit or bills payable to order or bearer: Provided that nothing, 
herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent the general assembly 
from establishing a state bank and branches." 

Here was the legal sanction for the State Bank of Indiana, one of 
the most notable institutions in the early history of banking. The bank 
at Vincennes was allowed to retain its charter, but on Janaury i, 1817, 
this bank was adopted as a branch of the state bank. 

The career of the first state bank is described by W. H. Smith in his 
"History of Indiana" : "The bank thus enlarged and with such increased 
powers, at once entered upon an era of mismanagement that soon 
wrought widespread ruin. In 1821 its reckless management caused the 
general assembly to authorize legal proceedings to cancel its charter. 
Among other things charged and proved were, the contracting of debts 
to double the amount of the deposits ; the issuing, with a fraudulent pur- 
pose, of more paper than the bank had means for redeeming; the de- 
claring and paying of large dividends to the stockholders, while the bank 
was refusing to pay specie for its notes ; and embezzling $250,000 de- 
posited by an agent of the L'nited States in the bank for safe keeping. 
The notes of the bank and its branches, except those of the bank at 
Madison, became wholly worthless." 

The failure of the first state bank occurred during a period of 
profound financial depression during the early "20s. For ten years or 
more the circulating medium in Indiana consisted largely of what were 



called "shinplasters," being the individual notes of local merchants and 
business men, and the bills of banks in other states. 

During this period the state sought to give aid to the financial situa- 
tion by entering, upon a great plan of internal improvements, consisting 
of canals and railroads, that would provide a magnificent system of 
transportation. In the speculative era that followed, when values were 
advanced with little regard for actual substance, the second state bank 
of Indiana was founded. 

'During the whole of its existence from 1834 to 1857, the credit of 
the State Bank of Indiana was not exceeded by any bank in the L'nited 
States. Its notes went current from lakes to gulf, and its capital and 
credit were used to develop business and agricultural resources of the 
state. Its regular annual dividends for twenty years averaged ten to 
twelve percent, and at the expiration of its charter there was a surplus 
of one hundred percent to divide among the stockholders. 

The State Bank was chartered in the winter of 1833-34. It was 
not a central bank with numerous branches, but the institution consisted 
of the dififerent branches under control of a central governing body. 
Thirteen branches -in all were organized, each branch having its own 
president and other officers. The semi-annual examinations by the state 
president was very searching, and kept the branches in a safe and 
healthy condition, with the result that only one case of fraud was ever 
found in all the thirteen banks. The capital of each branch was $160,- 
000, one half of which was furnished by the state. As there were no 
capitalists in the state at that time, the charter provided that every stock- 
holder who paid $18.75 *^" each $50 share, should receive as a loan from 
the state the remaining $31.25 so as to fully pay up the stock. The loan 
was secured by bond and mortgage on real estate, at six percent interest. 
The full amount of the annual dividends was then credited on the loan, 


and in one of the branches at least the loan was thus paid off seven 
years before the expiration of the charter, and the borrowing stock- 
holder received for that period the full amount of the dividends on 
his shares. To pay for its half of the stock and its advances to stock- 
holders, the state had issued and sold in London its coupon bonds at 
five percent, these being secured by the state stock in the banks and 
liens upon borrowers" stock. The state could have retired all these 
bonds before maturit}-, Imt although the state credit was very low in 
and after 1837, these bonds commanded a handsome premium and could 
not be reached. The state's share in the banks, bonds and mortgages 
and sinking fund was so well managed that not a dollar was lost and the 
state made a net profit of nearly $3,000,000 by its connection with the 
bank revenues which became the basis for the large school fund. 

The capital of the thirteen branches was a little over two millions, 
but the aggregate of the loans sometimes amounted to ten or fifteen 
millions in a year. There was one president, cashier and board of 
directors for the whole state, this central body having, absolute control 
over the branches with power to put any branch in liquidation, which was 
exercised but once, with only a temporary suspension. The general 
board was composed of splendid men and able financiers, and through 
their management the bank had a career such as few banks of the 
country surpassed. The State Bank of Illinois, chartered in the same 
vear, disastrously failed in 1837. The Indiana Bank suspended specie 
payment in 1837, as did every other bank in the country except the 
Chemical of New York, but it always furnished its customers with New 
York exchange at one percent premium for its own or other bankable 
notes, and also never failed to supply the home demand for coin, which 
was then silver. 

The State Bank of Indiana, iDeing a monopoly, there was a great 

Vol. I— IS 


demand as its charter wa? expiring for a free bank act. Such banks 
were authorized by the new constitution. The agitation for a new bank 
law also resulted in a bill providing for the establishment of the "Bank 
of the State of Indiana." as the title was then made to read. The bill 
was vetoed and passed over the governor's veto, and became a law in 
1855. The state could not be a stockholder in the new institution. 
There were to be twenty branches, each with capital. It was 
a good franchise, but those who had procured it did not intend to 
operate a bank, and it passed under the control of the former managers 
of the old State Bank and other citizens, with Hugh ^McCuUoch as 
president. The new bank began business in 1857, and started out under 
the most favorable auspices, but the panic of 1857 tested its integrity to 
the utmost. Only one bank in the east, and in the west the Bank of 
Kentucky and the Bank of Indiana alone escaped the necessity of sus- 
pending specie payment. The Indiana bank's notes commanded a 
premium, but the result of that was a drain on the bank's specie from 
the notes coming from other states. To have declined to redeem notes 
in specie on demand would have caused the forfeiture of the charter, 
which was too valuable to sacrifice. The branches made a gallant strug- 
gle, and had nearlv exhausted their cash resources when on the fifth 
week of the panic there was a change for the better in the financial out- 
look, gold declined in the east, and the Indiana notes ceased to come 
home for redemption. The charter was safe. The efifects of the panic 
were overcome in from two to three months, and the business of the 
branches was prosperous until the war broke out. Then ensued a great 
depression and a renewed demand for gold. Under the direction of ^Ir. 
^NlcCuUoch. the branches proposed to weather the storm, drew in their 
circulation as much as possible, arranged with depositors that deposits 
in gold should be paid in gold and in bank notes with notes. The issue 


of legal tender notes in 1862 made them a substitute for coin, and the 
question arose, could the bank save its charter by redeeming with legal 
tender notes instead of gold. A test case was hurried through the circuit 
court and supreme court of the state. The decision of the courts was 
that legal tender notes was lawful money in the terms of the bank's 

The Bank of the State of Indiana successfully passed through all 
financial storms, and when Mr. McCulloch resigned in 1863 to become 
comptroller of the currency it had upwards of three million dollars in 
gold coin in its vaults. \Mth the passage of the National Banking Act. 
all notes of state and private banks were taxed ten percent, which was 
practically prohibitive and caused nearly all these banks to surrender 
their charters and either go out of existence or take out national 

The Civil war made enormous demands upon the national treasury-, 
and the government within a few months after the beginning of the 
war was seriously embarrassed by the difficulties of providing funds 
from the regular sources. Permission to duly empowered organizations 
upon certain conditions to put into circulation bills furnished them by the 
government, their redemption in specie to be guaranteed and regulated 
bv the government, was the means of making the national debt an avail- 
able capital for banking purposes that was proposed by Secretary Chase, 
and out of which grew the National Banking. Act. In order to give the 
national currency thus created preference over other forms of credit 
currencv. it was proposed to tax the issues of state banks to such an 
extent that these institutions could not profitably issue notes. Xaturally 
the state banks opposed the measure. But the necessit>- of sectu-ing "'one 
sound, uniform circulation of equal value throughout the countr>- upon 
the foundation of national credit combined with private capital," forced 


Congress to act, and a bill passed the senate February 12, 1863, and 
the house eight days later, and the National Currency act received the 
signature of the president, February 25, 1863. While the practical re- 
sults of the act did not realize expectations during the war, the national 
banking system eventually remedied the great financial bills from which 
the country suffered under the miscellaneous and loose methods of state 

In Sullivan county, during the period which has been discussed, 
there were no banks. In Terre Haute a branch of the State Bank had 
been established in 1834, and its bills and facilities were without doubt 
employed in the transaction of business in Sullivan county. A^incennes 
was also a banking center for this county. 

Sulli7'an Banks. 

The history of the oldest banking institution of Sullivan county 
involves the names of some of its oldest citizens and business men. The 
Crowders, the Hokes, the Buttons and Crawdeys are family names that 
have at various times been associated with the oldest bank, and Jacob F. 
Hoke and William H. Crowder, Sr., have been identified w ith the Sullivan 
State Bank since the original institution was established as the Sullivan 
County Bank. Mr. Crowder was president of the bank from 1875 until 
1897. In the latter year, the Farmers State Bank of Sullivan and the 
Sullivan County I]ank having been consolidated, JMr. Hoke, who had 
owned a controlling interest in the State Bank since 1892, became president 
of the new institution. Mr. Hoke shares with Air. Crowder the honor of 
being the oldest bankers of Sullivan county, and while Mr. Hoke is presi- 
dent of the bank, the elder Air. Crowder is a director and W. H. Crowder, 
Jr., is cashier of the Sullivan State Bank. 

The charter for the first national bank in this county was granted in 


January, 1872, and on the 9th of lliat month the bank was organized at 
Sulhvan by the election of five directors, wIkj chose as their executive offi- 
cers, Mr. H. J. Ijarnard president, and Mcdford B. Wilson cashier. In 
April, 1874, Air. Wilson on leaving Sullivan sold his stock to Thomas K. 
Sherman, who became cashier in his stead. The three-story bank building 
on Washington street was built in 1873. The First National Bank of 
Sullivan went into voluntary liquidation January 8, 1878. 

After the liquidation of the First National, the Farmers National was 
established and was operated under national charter until 1884, when it 
became the Farmers State Bank, and continued thus until merged in the 
Sullivan State Bank. 

The Sullivan County Loan and Trust Company filed articles of incor- 
poration, July 28, 1903, the directors for the first year being C. L. Davis, 
A. E. Hazelrigg, C. J. Sherman, J. K. Smock, J. R. Riggs^ C. H. Ed- 
wards, W. C. Jamison. The capital stock of this institution was placed at 

The People's State Bank of Sullivan was organized in the fall of 
1906, the principal stockholders being George R. Button, formerly cashier 
of the Sullivan State Bank, and Joshua Beasley, of the abstract firm of 
Beasley and Brown. The first directors, elected in October, 1906, were 
John T. Hays, William Powell, Joseph T. Akin, Joshua Beasley and 
George R. Button. 

The National Bank of Sullivan was organized in 1900, and has a capi- 
tal of $100,000. Charles L. Bavis is president of this bank. 


Carlisle had no banking facilities until 1892. In that year E. W. 
Akin, Sr., Joseph T. and Charles T. Akin, all members of the well-known 
old family of that name, organized the People's Bank of Carlisle. A pri- 


vate bank, it lias filled a large want in the business community and has 
received the hearty support of all citizens, whose confidence in the integ- 
rity and reliability of the owners is complete. Originally the bank had a 
capital of $25,000. but on the reorganization in 1902 this was raised to 
$35,000. and in 1907 again increased to $50,000. Edgar W. Akin, Sr., 
has been president since the foundation of the bank, and his son, E. W. 
Akin. Jr., is cashier. 

During" the past decade banks have been organized in other centers 
of the count^•, though previous to that time it was customary for one or 
more of the business men of the town to manage a small private banking 
business. At Shelburn is the First National Bank, organized in 1904. 
The Hvmera State Bank was organized in 1906, R. L. Ladd being presi- 
dent. At Farmersburg two private banks were organized about 1902, and 
in 1905 one of them became the Citizens State Bank, with \\'. S. Baldridge 
president. The Dugger State Bank was organized in 1904, Joseph Moss 
and William R. Dugger being those chiefly interested. 

Building and Loan Associations. 

The first organization of a building and loan association in Sullivan 
county was effected at Sullivan in February, 1883. Its capital stock of 
$200,000 was divided into shares of $200 each. The directors for the first 
vear were: \\". H. Crowder, Joseph P. Stratton. ^klurray Briggs, AT B. 
Wilson, \\\ G. Young. The executive officers were [Murray Briggs, presi- 
dent ; \\'illiam H. Crowder, vice president : James Burks, secretary ; Pat. 
McEneny, treasurer. 

Two years after the organization it was reported that the stockholders 
had paid $26.40 on each share, the present value of the individual shares 
being estimated at $34.83, and that an aggregate sum of $10,000 had been 


loaned. At the end of six years, about $80 had been jiaid on each share, 
and the vahie of the sliares had risen to about $125 apiece. 

In the latter part of January. 1889, a l)uildin^-, sa\ings and loan asso- 
ciation was formed on a new ])lan. known as the Bedford plan of issuing 
stock in different series. Nine directors were to be elected each year, those 
chosen for the first beino- \\'. H. Crowder, B. F. Knotts, 1. 1 1. Ivalley, C. J. 
Sherman. Jv. II. Crowder, A. U. Williams, William Willis, A. J. Stewart. 
Sol T. Wolfe. About two years later, in September, i8(ji. it was voted 
that borrowers in the old association could Ikivc tlieir mortgages can- 
called In' pacing thirty dollars on each share, and that those who had 
stock which had not been used as a basis for borrowing could surrender the 
saiue and receive $162 a share. 

The report fif the new association, three years after its organiza::on. 
stated that 1,33'' shares had been issued, loans had l)een made on 454, 
and the present capital was represented in first-mortgage notes of face 
value $45,400. Through the means afiforded b\- the association, 49 persons 
had purchased homes, 42 had built new dwellings ; and of the loans for 
these purposes, 'J2 had lieen made in Sullivan and 19 in the surrounding 
towns and countr}-. 

A building and loan association at Farmersburg was incorporated in 
February, 1893. with a capital stock of $100,000. The first directors were : 
W. S. Baldridge, William Lash, R. H. \'an Cleve, T. W. Kennedy, W. 
Foote, S. W. Brown. George Heap. 


Methodist Cluii-chcs. — In 1885 Rev. M. S. Heavenridge, then pastor 
in charge of the Alethodist church at Snlhvan. prepared an historical paper 
which reviewed the work and growth of the Methodist church in this 
county from the beginning of the century. This paper, which was pub- 
hshed in the Dci>iocrat of August i8th, is the basis for the fohowing 

Up to 1818 the country all along the line of the E. & T. H. Railroad, 
from A'incennes to Terre Haute, was almost an unbroken wilderness. 
Among the families then settled here w^ere some jSIethodists, most of 
whom had been converted in the great revivals in Kentucky and Tennes- 
see, and who were formed into circuits which were visited at great inter- 
vals. Peter Cartwright, the famous itinerant evangelist, had organized the 
Vincennes circuit in 1808, which in 181 1 extended from the Ohio river 
north as far as there was any white population on the Wabash. In 1821 
the \'incennes circuit was divided, and the newly formed Honey Creek 
circuit embraced all the country on the \\'abash from Terre Haute to the 
Knox county line. The appointments in this circuit in 1825 were — Car- 
lisle, Johnsons', Robbins', Walls'. \\'eir's, Wilkins', Merom. Bonds', and 
Graham's, in Sullivan county, and Jackson Jr., Jackson Sr., Ra3's' and 
Barns', in \ igo county. 



At the session of the Missouri conference in 1821, Samuel Hamilton 
was appointed presiding elder for Indiana, and David P. Chamberlain 
was sent to the Honey Creek circuit, being succeeded in the fall of 1822 
by Hackaliah Verdenbergh, who remained one year. In 1823 William 
Beauchamp was appointed presiding elder and Samuel Hull preacher in 
charge. At the quarterly meeting of April 17, 1824, at Jonathan Gra- 
ham's, a committee consisting of Joe AI. Baker, John Jean, Bailey Johns- 
ton, Jonathan Webb and Meshack Hunt was appointed to meet the trustees 
of the Carlisle meeting house for the purpose of making a purchase there 
if possible. In October, 1824, William Beauchamp died at Paoli, and 
James Armstrong succeeded him. Charles Holliday was appointed pre- 
siding elder in 1825, and Richard Hargraves preacher in charge. About 
this time the Honey Creek circuit was again merged with the Vincennes 
circuit. The total amounts paid by the different classes in this year was 
$34,371/,, the salary of the presiding elder for the year was $50 and $5 
house rent. Stephen R. Beggs was the next preacher in charge and S. C. 
Cooper assistant preacher. In 1827 John Miller and Ashael Risley were 
appointed to the circuit. 

In 1828, on the division of the Vincennes circuit, the Carlisle circuit 
was formed. In 1829 William H. Smith and Boyd Phelps were named as 
preachers in charge, with twelve local preachers — Samuel Hull, John S. 
Cartwright, James Holmes, Thomas Springer, Owen Creasy, Daniel T. 
Pinkston, Josepli^oslin, Joshua Walls, Jesse Graham, Martin Plale, Wiley 
Wood, and Benjamin Bushnel. As exhorters were named, James F. 
Harney, Nathan Hinkle, Robert H. Springer, William Medarious, Garrett 
Davis, William Gill. 

In 1830 Richard Hargraves and Daniel M. Murphy were preachers 
in charge, succeeded in the fall of 1831 by Enoch G. Wood and \\'illiam 
Taylor. The following winter was one of great severity. Presiding Elder 


Lock, while returning home, found the W'ahash gorged with ice, and after 
waiting two or three days he and a companion resolved to break a channel 
for the ferry boat. W hen near the opposite shore Lock lost his balance 
and fell into the water, but recovered himself and about sunset succeeded 
in reaching shore. After riding ten miles to the nearest house, he arrived 
speechless and frozen to the saddle. He was cared for by the family, but 
continued his journey in a few days. The exposure laid the foundation 
for consumption, from which disease he died July 15, 1834. 

James Thompson was presiding elder and William Smith preacher in 
charge of the Carlisle circuit in 1832. For the following seven years there 
are no records, except that in 1835 Rev. A. \\'ood was presiding elder of 
the \'incennes district and in 1837 was succeeded by John Miller. 

In 1840 the New Lebanon circuit was organized, with H. S. Talbott 
presiding elder, and S. H. Rogers preacher. The pastor labored faithfully 
till September 3, 1841, when he was laid to rest in the Burnett graveyard. 

In 1847 (?) a committee (J. R. A\'illiams, Solomon \\'alls and John 
Mahan ) reported that the cost of a house of worship for Sullivan would 
be $380. and plans were then made for a frame building, 35 by 40 feet, 
with 12 foot story, and J. Earnhart, J. R. Williams and Solomon Walls 
appointed building committee. The lot west of the court house, about the 
middle of the block, was chosen as the site. The tirst class in the vicinity 
of Sullivan was called Gilkerson's and met at his house about a mile west 
of the court-house square on the ^lerom road. It is first mentioned in the 
minutes April 17, 1830. The class moved to town when the church was 

At the conference held at New Lebanon August 17, 1850, the Sullivan 
circuit was constituted, on the report of a committee consisting of J. 
Pinkston, J. Peters, Anthony Alason, J. Earnhart and E. W. Burgess. 
The New Lebanon circuit was to contain the charges of New Lebanon, 


East Chapel, Providence, Alerom and D. I'lnkston's. Sullivan, Alt. Tabor, 

Pierce's, \\'eir's, Ebenczer, Pethcl and Fairbanks constitntccl the Sullivan 


Sitlli^'uii Methodist Church. 

On the west side of the public square of Sullivan a frame church 
was constructed in the year 1846 for the religious home of the Methodists. 
A peculiar interest attaches to this building, not only because it was the 
first church edifice in Sullivan, but also because of the pious men whose 
zeal and etTorts made the structure possible, it is said that some of the 
earliest ^Methodists who came to this part of the county contributed the 
timbers which went into the building- and helped in the raising of the 
framework and the nailing on of the boards and finishing the interior and 
exterior, while the pastor of the Hock at that time. Rev. James R. Williams, 
led on the workmen, himself handling a saw and hammer when occasion 
required. Some of these church builders were Jordan Peter, Solomon 
Walls, M. E. Chace, Reuben Crapo, and others, who hewed <jut the tim- 
bers, whipsawed the boards and worked with right good will for several 
months in constructing a place where worship might be conducted else- 
where than in the county seminary and private houses, where the good 
Methodist folks had congregated up to that time. The membership of 
the societv in that year was only twenty-five, but with the building of the 
church an increasing number came into the habit of regarding with affec- 
tion the church home on the square and assembling there on days of wor- 
ship. During the eighties the membership rolls contained over three hun- 
dred, and the Sunday school, which had been started with six white and 
two colored scholars, being the first class for Bible instruction in the 
town, had likewise grown in numbers and influence. 

The old frame church was occupied a little more than ten years. In 
1858-59, under the labors of William H. Cornelius, a brick church was 


built on the site of the present church. A parsonage was erected in 1880, 
while J. A. Ward was pastor. On May 19, 1889. ^^'^^ last service was 
held in the old church, plans having been made for the building of a new 
church to cost over $12,000. In July the old building was wrecked, and 
the contract for the new^ was let to J. F. Hoke at $12,073. September 2d, 
the corner-stone was laid, and in August, 1890, the present church edifice 
was dedicated by Dr. Earl Cranston. The Epworth League of this church 
was organized February 24, 1891. 

Carlisle Mctlwdist Church. 

If we except the movements and labors of the early French Catholic 
missionaries within the territory now comprised in Sullivan county, the 
first preacher of the gospel whose record can be found affecting this region 
was a Alethodist. It is said that Rev. Joel Collins came among the few 
settlers living about the blockhouses near Carlisle in 1806, and his voice 
was often lifted up in exhortation and in blessing the labors of this people 
dwelling on the edge of civilization. As a minister he was C[uite remark- 
able for his frontiersman hardiness and bravery. He was expert with the 
rifle, and a very practical Christian. It was his son, Madison Collins, 
who was severely wounded in the Indian massacre where Dudley ]Mack 
lost his life, and it would not have been strange if the old pioneer minister 
allowed himself a feeling of vengeance against the savages who had almost 
taken away one of his family. 

For many years, until well within the memorv of people now in 
middle age, there stood on one of the streets of Carlisle a building which 
in later years was much dilapidated and was used as a cooper's shop. 
When first built it had served a very dift'erent purpose, and the voices of 
the workmen and the sounds of the shop were like a material echo of the 
hymns of praise and thanksgiving and prayerful worship of the pioneers 


who years before had assembled in this buildino;-. The old cooper shop was 
the first church buildino- in Carlisle and the count}', built in 1818 by the 
^lethodists, but used at various times by many sects and for various pur- 
poses. It was a landmark in the town for two generations. Men and 
women were christened under its roof, were married there, and at death 
were taken there for the last rites. It was not till 1874 that the con- 
g-regation left the old home for a new and larger church, but even after 
that for years the memories of many of the worshipers would often recall 
the scenes that were associated with the little old building that still stood 
near the new one. The new church was dedicated in October, 1874, the 
president of Asbury L^niversity (DePauw) being the principal speaker. 
M. S. Heavenridge was pastor in charge. 

AVzt' Lebanon Methodists. 

New Lebanon was one of the principal strongholds of Methodist 
doctrine and influence in western Indiana during the last century. It 
was the scene of camp meetings that attracted worshipers from far and 
near, and man}- of the older residents of the county remember how they 
traveled by wagon over the roads that centered at the New Lebanon camp 
ground, where the tents were spread and for a week or more the ]\Ieth- 
odists and their friends participated in the now old-fashioned custom of 
worship and social commingling amid the pleasant surroundings of out- 
door existence, and usually following the harvests when people had their 
crops garnered and were in a particularly grateful mood. 

The pioneer settlers on Gill prairie were only little behind the people 
about Carlisle in organizing for Methodist worship. The house of William 
Burnett was, so far as known, the first place of worship for the Methodists 
of Gill prairie. Rev. John Schrader had begun preaching here in 1813, 
and soon after a class was formed consisting of the following : William 
and Marv Burnett, William and Anna Gill, James Black and wife. Berry 


and Elizabeth Taxlor. Deborah Graham, Catherine Strain and Patsv Hol- 
lenbach. In 1814 James McCord succeeded Rev. Schrader and continued 
preaching- at Burnett's, but after three years the class was broken up bv 
the removal of its members. \\'illiam Burnett removed to the vicinity of 
the present town of New Lebanon, and again his house became a place of 
worship. Here, about 1816. Janies ]\IcCord formed a class of four mem- 
bers — ^^'ilham and Mary Burnett and Berry and Elizabeth Taylor — but 
the following year ten new members were added — Henry South, Charlotte 
South, Christian Canary, Xancy Canary, John South, Jane South, William 
South, Margaret South, David Howard and Sarah Howard. 

In 18 18 occurred the first recorded camp meeting held on the Alt. 
Zion camp ground. This was called the "bark camp meeting." called so 
on account of the material used for tents. Alany conversions resulted 
from this meeting, so that the Burnett home was too small, and the congre- 
gation then built, on the camp ground, a hewed log church, the logs being- 
covered with oak boards, and named it the Alt. Zion church. This was the 
scene of many revivals and was the center of worship for this community 
until 1830, when a frame church was built at New Lebanon at a cost of 
about one thousand dollars. This church continued in use until 1871, 
when the floor gave way. The brick church was then built, at a cost of 
about $6,000, being at the time the finest church building in the county. 
It is said the bishops presided at the dedication of both the old frame and 
the new brick church. 

East Chapel, a part of the New Lebanon circuit, was one of the earlv 
churches of Gill township. The first church was built there in 1861, at 
a cost of three hundred dollars, and on December 18, 1892, this congrega- 
tion dedicated a new church. 

Alerom was a station in the Honey Creek circuit in 1821, but no data 
have been found relating to the church during its early years. In 1837 


the congregation Iniilt a lionse of worship at a cost of six liundred dollars. 
During the present century the Methodists at Meroni have attained con- 
siderable strength as an organization, and in T908 the society erected a new 
lirick church at a cost of $4,500. The church was dedicated on Sunday, 
July 5th. 

The Providence church in Turman township, about six miles west 
of Sullivan, originated about the middle of the last centurA- and was for- 
merly a part of the New Lebanon circuit. The church Iniilding, which 
was erected at a cost of $1,200 in 1872, was destroyed by hre in January, 
1886, during the progress of revival meetings. 

Rose Chapel, supplied from the Merom church, was dedicated in 
June, 1892. 

In !May, 1893, the [Methodists at Fairbanks dedicated a frame church 


Frcsbytcriaii CJiurchcs. 

Besides the ]\Iethodists, another little congregation worshiped in the 
Methodist church building at Carlisle. William and Mary McCrary, 
James, ]\Iary and ^lartha Watson, Rachel Porter, Mary Could, Lydia 
Silliman, and Ann Broad\- were a little band of the Presbyterian faith who 
were organized into a society on January 31. 1819, by a missionary named 
Fowler. For the first few years, only at intervals, a Presbyterian preacher 
came to Carlisle, an occasion that was marked by a full assemblage not 
only of members of this faith but of other denominations. On the first 
Sunday in June, 1841, a church building was dedicated to the home of the 
Presbyterians, and in 1877 a much larger and handsomer church was 
erected, being dedicated in October of that year. 

SuUiviUi Presbyterian Chitreh. 
The old :\Iethodist church on the public square in Sullivan was a 
center of early religious activities, apart from those of the particular 


denomination to which it l)elonged. Baptists and Presbyterians worshiped 
within these hospitable waUs. This church, the court house and private 
homes were for some years the abiding place of the early Presbyterians 
of Sullivan. Sixteen members of that faith were organized in the ]\Ieth- 
odist building on August 31, 1857, into a society. Just before the war they 
subscribed $1,700 for the building of a church. The contract was made 
bv the committee with the builders, when the outbreak of the war caused 
the committee to endeavor to annul the contract, but without success and 
the building proceeded, and by unusual self-denial on the part of the 
members the obligations were faithfully met right in the midst of the 
crucial events of the war. 

An issue of the Democrat in ]^Iarch, 1864, states that some members of 
the church favored the sale of the building for schoolhouse purposes in 
order to discharge the obligations which still rested on the congregation. 
There was at that time little prospect of securing a minister acceptable to 
all, and the life of the organization seemed about to expire. A few 
weeks later, however, it was reported that the Presbyterians had secured 
the services of Rev. P. B. Cook as pastor, and services were to be held 
every Sunday. An interesting feature of the service, given prominence in 
the newspaper, was that the services would be accompanied by melodeon 
and choir, the melodeon being understood to be the gift of James Kelley. 

The dedication of the church occurred in August, 1866, the principal 
sermon being delivered by Rev. Mr. Smith of \'incennes. A small sub- 
scription was taken, sufficient to pay ofif the indebtedness. For several 
years previously the building, though occupied, was unfinished. 

In August, 1907, just fifty years after the organization of the church, 
the last service was held in the old building, and preparations made to 
erect a modern religious edifice. The last meeting in the old church was 
made notable by an address from Rev. Montgomery, one of the early 


ministers of the congregation, who gave a historical account of the church, 
and paid a tribute to the personnel of officials and inlluenlial nienihers, and 
recalled with special affection and praise the leadership of such men as 
Murray Briggs, Dr. Thompson, Harvey Wilson, Mr. Ilulchinson, Lafay- 
ette Stewart, all of whom were identified with the carl\- growth (if the 
church. Mention was also made of George Goodwin, who had been a 
member of the church forty years and who at this time was elder. The 
church membership in the preceding fifty years had fluctuated between 
seven and two hundred. 

The actual work of construction on the new church was not begun 
until the summer of 1908. The new church is built of brick and Bedford 
stone, on a modern plan of church architecture, and with seating caj^acity 
in the auditorium for five himdred. On August 20, 1908, the corner-stone 
was laid with ceremonies, among which the principal address was by 
Judge G. \V. Buff. 

Snlliz'an Christian Church. 

Only the oldest men and women recall the little frame building that 
half a century ago stood on Section street, with its cupola and small bell 
whose ringing at intervals called together the Disciples of Christ or Chris- 
tians, as they are best known. As it originally stood, the church was 
built about 1849, ^^'^^^ about five years later an addition of fifteen feet gave 
a more commodious interior, and at this time also the cupola and bell were 
added to give distinction to the house of worship.* The societ\- that found 
its first home in this building had its inception sometime in the thirties, 

*The first Cliristian ehnreh building, after being abandoned as a church, was 
used as a carpenter shop, and until finally it was cut up into several sections, becom- 
ing wood-house, stable, etc., and thus passed into oblivion. It originally stood two 
squares north of Washington street, on Section. 
Vol. 1—19 


when Joseph \\\ Wolfe and A. P. Law were both ordained ministers of 
this denomination in SulHvan count}'. The organization was a growing 
one, so that in 1866 what was then deemed a large brick church, 50 by 75 
feet, and with considerable pretensions to architectural dignity, was con- 
structed at a cost of $8,000, being dedicated in May, 1866, by Elder Black 
of Putnam county. A larger bell from its cupola summoned the people 
to worship, and the prosperity of the church went on without serious inter- 
ruption. This was the parent church of several smaller Christian churches 
in the count}'. 

A parsonage was built at a cost of about $1,200 in 1889, being form- 
ally opened July 25th, while Rev. Ireland w^as pastor. 

Other Christian Churches. 

At his death on May 7, 1890, James J. Snider, a resident of the 
county, left his estate to be divided, on the death of his wife, among three 
churches of the Christian denomination. The will was finally pronounced 
valid, and in 1902 steps were taken to carry out its provisions. The prop- 
erty consisted of 320 acres of land and about $5,000 of personal property, 
one-half of which was to go to Providence church at Paxton, and the other 
half to be divided equally between the churches at Carlisle and Sullivan. 
The real estate was not to be divided or sold, but to be managed entirely 
by trustees, and the income used for the support of pastors, repair of build- 
ings, etc. The personal property was to be converted into government or 
real estate securities, the income only to be available for current use. In 
1903 the first distribution was made, and a total of nearly five thousand 
dollars was divided among the three churches. 

One of the former local preachers of the Christian church in this 
county was Rev. A. Ward, who died September 22, 1884, in his 67th 
year. He had been a minister in the church for thirty-five years, twenty 
years in this county, and had received four thousand into the church. 


The labors of Joseph W. Wolfe were identified in several ways with 
pioneer history of Sullivan county. Before he was public official he was 
a minister and elder of the Christian church, and in this way was con- 
nected with several of the early societies of that denomination. At Car- 
lisle he was one of the tv>o elders who organized the church on October 5, 
1866, and was the first pastor of the charter membership of forty-four. 
The frame church built in 1868 cost five thousand dollars, and the organ- 
ization w^as one of the flourishing religious societies of the southern part 
of Sullivan county. 


Many will recall the kindly and venerable Rev. William Stansil, the 
octogenarian Baptist minister, who, having founded the Baptist church on 
a permanent basis in Sullivan and led it for many years, later spent his old 
age in retirement in this county. He was one of the pioneer ministers of 
his denomination in the Wabash valley, and in this shared some honors 
with the veteran missionary Isaac McCoy, whose name is so closely iden- 
tified with the early history of the Baptist church in Indiana. During the 
early fifties he lived in Knox county, and passed up and down the valley 
to perform his labors. A periodical journey took him through Sullivan, 
and he used to stop there and preach in the Methodist church to the small 
group of Baptists who lived in the town and neighborhood. Finally on 
iVpril 23, 1853 (see below), the Baptist church of Sullivan was consti- 
tuted with a membership of sixteen, and Rev. Stansil then took up his 
residence at Sullivan and continued to serve the church as pastor for ten 
consecutive years, and after a brief interval for four more years. The 
house of worship on Jackson street, used for many years by this church, 
was begun about 1854. 

Sunday, May 15, 1904, the Sullivan Baptist church celebrated ils 


fiftieth anniversary. The records previous to 1885 havin,c: hecn destroyed, 
the members of the church were nof agreed as to the exact date of the 
organization, the majority asserting 1854 to be the proper date, while 
others fixed the time in 1853. -"^f this celebration some of the original 
members were recalled, among them being Rev. Stansil, Robert L. Griffith, 
]^Iildred J. Griffith, Thomas Black, Stephen Ballard, W'illoughby Nichols, 
Surrell Nichols. J. H. Reed. Zerelda Reed. Airs. Griffith was the only 
surviving member at the time of the anniversary. 

The church enjoyed quiet prosperity until the pastorate of Rev. 
Robert Taylor, about 1877, when dissensions arose which threatened the 
existence of the church for many Acars. The troubles culminated durine: 
the pastorate of D. B. Aliller, who was an energetic pastor, secured manv 
accessions to the membership, repaired the old building (in 1885), but at 

the close of his term the church was barely kept together. In the early 
nineties it was determined to reorganize. The old church building was 
sold, the membership roll revised, and services were begun in the court 
house. Rev. Henry Bailey was called to the pastorate, and from that 
time the church progressed with new life and harmonv. On June s. 
1895. the corner-stone of a new church was laid, and the building com- 
pleted the same year. After two years Mr. Bailey resigned, but under 
the successive pastorates of J. B. Thomas and U. Al. McGuire ( who came 
in 1899) the church continued to grow and prosper. 

The Fairbanks Baptist church was organized in 1828 at the home of 
James Drake. In Januarw 1906, the church dedicated a new frame build- 
ing, costing $2,200. \\'illiam Stansil and AbranT Starks were the minis- 
ters who took charge of the organization of this church, and the first 
church was erected the same year. The old building was rei)laced with a 
new in 1871, and when this was decided to be inadequate and in need of 
repairs a few years ago, the congregation undertook the remodeling, but 


the buikling collapsed flnrino- the work, and ]ilans were at once made to 
erect an entirely new house of worship. The money was all raised before 
the day of dedication. 

The five or six Catholic families who resided in Sulli\an durino; the 
sixties were organized into a church by leather McCarty, a missionary, 
and through donations .that came mostly from sources (nitside of this 
church, a frame structure was built near the railroad depot in 1867-68. 
The furnishings were very meager, and it was not until several years later 
that seats were placed in the church. This was a mission church and 
was attended by a priest from Terre Haute. In the issue of the Dcmocnit 
for April 26, 1866, it is stated that Mrs. Dufficy had given two lots as a 
site for the proposed church, and the progress of this denomination is 
further indicated in the issue of August, 1867, which reported that the 
necessary money had been secured and that the contract had been awarded 
to William (ireenlee for the construction of the building west of the 
depot in Gray, Watson and Bloom's addition. In June, u;o6, was reported 
the sale of this old building, the original Catholic church, to the denomina- 
tion of Holiness Christian for the sum of $800. The old building, after 
the Catholics erected their new church, was used for a schoolhouse for 

a time. 

U. B. Chiircli. 

In February. 1894, the United Brethren organized a church at Sulli- 
van with nineteen members. A few weeks later they purchased the old 
Baptist church building on East Jackson street, and installed Sarah B. 
Whistler as first regular pastor. The church was repaired and formally 
dedicated in August, 1894. v 

The United Brethren church east of Sullivan was dedicated by Bishop 
Castle, ]\Iay 31, 1896. 



One of the diligent and gifted ministers who performed the arduous 
work of the profession during, the early half of the century was Elder 
John S. Howard, who died at Thurston, Ohio, December 6, 1890. Born 
in Wilson county, Tennessee, August 20, 1807, he first came to Sullivan 
to live in 1854 and was here continuously until about seven years before 
his death. He had been ordained at Russelville, Illinois, in 1846 by 
Elders Joseph W. Wolfe and B. W. Fields, and was thus introduced to 
the services of a long and active ministry. He preached over large 
territories in eastern and southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana, 
and was welcomed along the Wabash valley in many communities. He 
had a delightful voice and a genius for singing added to his power as a 
preacher. His daughter, Airs. Alose Wilkey, lived in Sullivan, and he 
was buried from the Christian church here. 

The following church statistics is from the statistician's report for 
1883 (the latest at hand). There have been many additions to all of 
the items, no doubt, but the relative strength would probably be near 
the same : 





"" m 






No. Admitted 
to Full Mem- 
bership Dur- 
ing Year. 

Value of Buildi 
Lot and Ot 
Church Proper 

Methodist Episcopal... 







• 1 




































Bapiist Missionary.... 
Christian New Light. . . 




Haptlst (Hardshell)... 
Second Adventist 





2.617 1 

3.084 1 

5,701 1 

509 1 



In one form or another there has been in Sulhvan county a persistent 
movement against the Hquor traffic for more than sixty years. This move- 
ment may be said to have cnhiiinated on March 3, 1909, when at the 
county option election, held under the law passed by the last session of 
the legislature, the "drys" carried the county by 1,821 majority. The six 
precincts which "went wet" gave only small majorities. Hamilton town- 
ship voted dry by 213 majority, and Curry, where the real fight had been 
made between the opposing forces of saloon and anti-saloon, gave a dry 
majority of 146. 

With the exception of the lodge of Masons at Carlisle, which main- 
tained its organization only a few years during the twenties, it appears 
that the first important social organization in the county was the Sons of 
Temperance at Sullivan, organized about 1848. The object of the order 
was to promote temperance, but, being a secret order, it became more of 
a social organization or club than otherwise. ]\Iost of the charter members 
were temperate men who were not in the habit of using spirituous liquors 
as a beverage, but the membership contained some who would be termed 
at that time "moderate drinkers," and these are said to have continued 
their convivial custom even after initiation. However, the lodge at Sulli- 
van had a great influence for the promotion of sobriety in the town and 



adjacent country and a large proportion of the citizens Ij^canie members. 
A two-story frame hall near the sontlnvest corner of the square was built 
1)}' this order. Many of the social occasions of the time were undertaken 
inider the auspices and leadership of this organization. The Ciood Tem- 
plars and the Royal Templars were similar organizations that followed the 
Sons of Temperance, and at different localities had their following and 

In 1853 the legislature passed a law for the limitation and control 
of the liquor traffic, providing that the sale of intoxicating liquors should 
be under the control of a county agent, thus creating a new office in each 
county, and also providing that liquors should only be sold for medicinal 
purposes and on the prescription of a physician. Ihit the representatives 
of the state m controlling the liquor business lacked, in the majority of 
cases, the strength and judgment of character equal to the responsibilities 
put upon them by the insistent drinkers, and the system was a failure. 

In 1855 the legislature passed an act which was prohibitory in its 
nature. The manufacture, sale or drinking of spirituous and malt liquors 
were forbidden in the state except for medicinal uses. Sullivan countv 
had prohibition under this act about six months, when the law was declared 

Jt was about 1872 that the Crusade Movement first set in. and in 
time spread like wildfire over the whole country. The women were in 
many localities the principal actors in this movement, and in some towns 
collected in parties and by intimidation and feminine suasion in many 
instances routed the saloon forces, caused the liquors to be poured into 
the gutters, and produced at least a temporary cessation of the traffic. 
The newspapers do not record during this time an}- forceful measures to 
stop the traffic in this county, but meetings were frequently held and the 
legal machinery then provided was constantly invoked to keep out saloons. 


'Ihc agitalit^n Ijcj^uii with ihc Crusade resulted iu wliat was known 
as the "Baxter liill," which ])r()(kiced much excitement wlien it was passed 
in 1873. At the next session it was modified and finally repealed. It pro- 
vided among other things that the saloon-keeper should file with his ai:)pli- 
cation for license the ]x'tition of a majority of the voters at the la-t elec- 
tion m the township or ward wdiere he desired to sell, asking that he be 
granted license. During the continuance of this law various ways were 
devised by which the law could be evaded. 

The organization of the Woman's Christian Tem])erance L'nion fol- 
lowed as a result of the Crusade Movement of 1873, and in this, too. Sulli- 
van count}- has co-operated through its local organizations. The Prohibi- 
tion party, which first placed national candidates in the field during the 
eighties, has had adherents in this county since that time. lUit perhaps the 
most efifective organization for combating the licpior traffic has been the 
Anti-Saloon League, which was organized about the beginning of this 
century, and is both a national and state organization. Though it origi- 
nated as a church movement, it is in fact a general movement on the part 
of the people at. large, under tlie leadership of national, state and local 
executive committees. 

Those who desire to follow the histor\- of the anti-saloon movement 
in its details in Sullivan cmmty will find much informatiim in the follow- 
iuQ chronoloeical items, culled from the issues of the Democrat during the 
past forty years. Murray Briggs, the editor for most of this time, was in 
active sympathy with the movement. The dates given are the dates of 
issue of the Democrat. 

Jan. 7, 1867 — In compliance with a numerously signed petition 
the board of trustees of Sullivan passed an ordinance requiring $500 
license of all liquor sellers. 

Feb. 7, 1867 — Citizens of Carlisle generally exulted over the 


"drying up of the last grocery" in .their town. The proprietors left 
town, whether from pnbHc sentiment or from fear of grand jurv. 
is somewhat uncertain. 

Aug. I. 1867 — Board of trustees of Merom, Thomas Kearns 
president and H. H. Shideler clerk, adopted resolutions requiring 
saloon-keepers to pay a tax of five dollars per day for every billiard 
table, lo-pin or 9-pin alley, license of $100 per year for privilege of 
selling liquor and requiring certificate of good moral character of 
applicant signed by two-thirds of the legal voters of the town, 
and providing penalties for illegal selling and disorderly conduct. 

Jan. 13, 1870 — The correspondent of the AVic Albany Ledger, 
writing from Farmersburg, says : "The moral sentiment of the 
people is of such a character that we are without the usual append- 
age of a western town, a grog shop." 

Aug. 12', 1870 — Good Templars have organized at Carlisle. 

Alarch 13, 1872 — A large number of indictments against liquor 
dealers are on docket, and numerous convictions. Jndge Patterson 
takes a new^ departure, now adding five days in the county jail to 
the usual fine of $5 and costs. Prosecuting attorney also announces 
his intention to pursue absent witnesses with attachment and make 
it rather expensive to hire witnesses to stay away. 

July 31, 1872 — Alore licensed saloons in this place (Sullivan) 
than ever before. 

Feb. 24, 1873 — Meeting held in Literary hall (schoolhouse) to 
discuss bill providing that liquor dealers must get signatures of 
majority of voters in order to get license. T. J. Wolfe presided. 
Speeches in favor of the bill made by James L. Griffin, W. T. Craw- 
ford, J. T. Hays, Rev. W. P. Armstrong, Rev. ^Ir. Robertson and 
others. Governor Hendricks was telegraphed that Sullivan county 
approved the law. 

June, 1873 — Two licenses granted in Sullivan under the 
new law. 

June 14, 1873 — La^t day for the saloon in Carlisle. 

April 6, 1874 — Temperance meeting at the Presbyterian church 
was rather more spirited than usual. Speeches made by Hays, 
Crawford and Kildow. Effort had been made in March by the 
women to secure an eft'ective remonstrance. 

Aug. 12, 1874 — "To the county commissioners of Sullivan 


county: I hereby notify you that I am opposed to s^ranting any 

more permits to any person to sell liquor in this the ward of 

Sullivan for the space of one year, and any petition bearing my 
name will be without my knowledge or consent." This was signed 
by about two-thirds of the voters, including nearly all the men of 
prominence in the town about that time. 

Sept. 9, 1874 — Intense interest centered in the applications for 
liquor license under the Baxter law. At the last municipal election 
in this place, under the ruling of the attorney general, but one poll- 
ing place was opened and all the votes taken there instead of bv 
wards as formerly. The applicants claim this was unconstitutional, 
and the petitions were made up on the basis of the election of 1873 
and the applications are claimed to be signed by a majority of the 
voters in the wards as shown by the poll books of that election. 
Senator Voorhees appeared as legal counsel for the applicants, and 
N. G. Buff for the temperance men. The permits were granted. 

Sept. 2T,, 1874 — Licenses granted in Sullivan and Shelburn. 

Dec. 30, 1874 — The Sullivan Amateurs have made arrange- 
ments to bring out the popular play of "Ten Nights in the Bar 
Room" in fine style at Literary Hall. They purpose to give two 
entertainments, presenting this play and a new moral drama entitled 
"The Fruits of the Wine Cup." 

May 5, 1875 — Temperance ticket nominated, and the following 
officers elected on that ticket : Trustees, James A. Catlin, A. B. 
Stansil, L^riah Coulson, Thos. Robbins, J. R. McKinley. Only one 
ofifice won by the opposing ticket. 

June 9, 1875 — Town board passed ordinance making license fee 
$100, the highest allowed by the state law. 

June 16, 1875 — About $1,000 from liquor licenses added to 
the tuition fund of this county. 

Aug. 29, 1877 — Murphy or blue ribbon temperance movement 
has been inaugurated here and meetings held for the past week. 
Four hundred have signed pledge. 

Oct. 24, 1877^ — Luther Benson lectured at court house last 
w'eek. Audience spellbound for an hour and a half. Mr. John Lee 
for a week has been conducting successful meetings on the Murphy 
plan at Carlisle. About 160 signers of the pledge, probably fifty of 
whom were regular drinkers. The damage to the saloon business 


has aroused keepers to point of retaliation, though the speaker was 
most gentle in manner and, moreover, frail in health. As he 
was leavine town several men followed him to the train and 
assaulted him. 

Nov. 14, 1877 — Audience room at M. E. church nightly 
crowded, and people who never before went to temperance meet- 
ings attend regularly and hundreds have pinned on the blue ribbon. 
Messrs. Shelby and Black are conducting the meetings with won- 
derful success. 

Nov. 28, 1877— Shelby-Black meetings followed by weekly 
meetings at different churches. Executive committee have arranged 
series of meetings in surrounding towns and all the school districts. 

Dec. 15, 1877 — Meetings still well attended. Middletown and 
Fairbanks movement highly popular ; at New Lebanon, 78 signers 
on Sunday night, and Monday '^'j more. 

Dec. 26, 1877 — Various societies of the county report 2.881 

Feb. 13, 1878 — Front doors of saloons freely used on Sunda}-. 

March 30, 1878 — County convention held at the court house. 
Lafayette Stewart chosen president, Rev. Taylor, A. D. Murphy and 
Prof. George W. Register, secretaries, N. Conkle of Farmersburg 
■ and Smith Greenfield of Carlisle vice presidents. A permanent 
organization was effected. A resolution passed promising continued 
diligence and disclaiming all intention to permit the organization to 
enter politics. Thirty clubs reported 5.000 signers of the pledge. 
The number of signers in Sullivan brought up to 994. 

April 10, 1878 — No saloons in Turman township. 

Julv 10, 1878 — On the 4th a temperance rall\- held at Sullivan, at 
which speeches patriotic and in the interests of temperance were 
made by the president of the county association, by John Springer 
of Jacksonville, 111. ; by VIrs. William Denny of Vincennes, by 
Luther Benson, and by John Billman and Captain Crawford. 
Great satisfaction was expressed that in a crowd of eight or ten 
thousand not a single drunken man was seen, and \\c disturbance 
of any kind. 

Sept. 25, 1878 — Association at Sullivan resumed meetings. 
Messrs. Hoke and Sherman tendered the use of the opera house for 
the meetings. 


Oct. 9, 1878 — Executive committee inr the eiisiiint;- year ap- 
pointed — J. R. Mcl\inle\- chairman, A. I). .Murphy secretary and 
John Thompson treasurer. 

1878-79 — Interest in meetings dechned (hu'in^;- ihiN winter, and 
tlie organization l)ecame inactive for a time. In hehruary. 1879. 
it was reported that .SuUixan was making no att.'ni])! to enforce 
closing ordinances. 

May 10, 1879 — Conntv convention re-elects Lafayette .Stewart 
and A. D. Stewart ]iresident and secretary of the count}' association. 

Dec. 10, 1879 — Last weel< we published an a])plication for a 
liquor license in l*'armersburg. Within 24 hours after the recc])- 
tion of the paper containing the advertisement every citizen in tnwn 
had signed a remonstrance. 

Feb. 22. 1882 — (iood Templars met in convention at Xew 
Lebanon, 26 delegates, three-fourths of whom were voters. Re- 
solved to support no candidates who would not pledge themsehe- 
to vote for an amendment providing state prohibition. 

March 4, 18S4 — W. C. T. U. is trying to ])revent tlvj twti 
saloon-keepers in Carlisle from obtaining licenses. 

March 7, [8S4 — height against saloon-keei)ers in (Auiisle suc- 

May 30, 1884 — W. C. T. U. circulating petition in .Sullivan 
among the women asking commissioners to refuse all applications 
for license. 

June 6, 1884 — About 50 ladies of the W. C. T. V. attended 
commissioners' court and succeeded in preventing issuance of 
licenses to all applicants Init two. 

Tune 27, 1884 — Ladies went to ^lerom to organize \\'. C. T. U. 

Aug. 26, 1884— W. C. T. U. brought ^Irs. Josephine R. Nich- 
ols to address the teachers" institute and secured resolution recom- 
mending the passage of a law requiring instruction on the elTects 
of alcohol to be given in the public schools. 

July 29. 1884— Branch of the W. C. T. U. organized among 
the voung ladies of Sullivan. 

Nov. 9. 1891 — The first Demorest medal contest won by Ethel 
Ireland. Meeting held to consider the organization of a W. C. 
T. L'. (The old association had apparently ceased.) 

]>klarch 3. 1896— Commissioners hold that remonstrance should 


be directed against individual applicants; the judge of the circuit 
court that it should be against any and all persons desiring to sell 

June 5, i896^License refused in Jackson township because of 
remonstrance signed by over 400 voters. 

June 2"], 1901 — Compromise effected between the Anti-Saloon 
League and the saloon-keepers in the form of an agreement that 
the saloon-keepers will respect the Nicholson law in regard to 
closing from 1 1 p. m. to 5 a. m. and on Sundays, during which 
time no liquor will be sold or given away. Also will permit no 
gambling or unlawful games of any sort, and allow saloons to be 
inspected at any time by members of the league. The league agreed 
to suspend all remonstrances so long as the saloon-keepers kept 
faith. The agreement was signed by five leading saloon men, and 
remonstrances may be filed against those who do not sign. 

Dec. 12, 1 90 1 — The Cass township remonstrance, signed by 
350 voters, has been held valid. This leaves Cass township without 
a saloon. 

Feb. 6, 1902 — The people of Cass tow'uship have filed 12 
remonstrances in 13 months. 

June 19, 1902 — Remonstrance being circulated in Hamilton 
township. Efifort being made to induce majority of voters to give 
power of attorney to Joshua Beasley and William H. Crowder, Sr., 
to sign names on remonstrances against any and all applicants for 

Sept. II, 1902 — Remonstrance held good in Hamilton town- 
ship. The saloon men having caused almost every man who signed 
remonstrance to be summoned as witness, the temperance people 
made it the occasion for a rally in the court house yard. Free 
lunch was served to all. and speeches made by ministers and citi- 
zens. The decision has closed all but four saloons in Sullivan. 

Dec. 25, 1902 — The supreme court sustains the power of attor- 
ney in the remonstrance against the liquor traffic. A remonstrance 
had been signed by John Ragle et al. against John Mattix in Jack- 
son township in the spring of 1900, and the commissioners refused 
the license. This action was reversed by the Sullivan circuit court 
on the ground that the remonstrance did not mention Mattix, but 


was directed against all applicants. The supreme court upheld the 
validity of this form of remonstrance. 

Jan. 8, 1903 — Haddon township successfully remonstrates 
against two saloons. 

July 9, 1903 — Remonstrance sustained in Hamilton township ; 
leaves but two licenses in Sullivan. 

Sept. 17, 1903 — Temperance forces defeated in Hamilton town- 
ship, leaving eight saloons in Sullivan. 

Sept. 15, 1904 — Commissioners grant 15 licenses. Remon- 
strance in Jefferson township again successful ; no saloons there in 
many years. 

March 16, 1905 — Paper being circulated to give A. E. Hazel- 
rigg and W. H. Crowder power of attorney to sign names of peti- 
tioners to all remonstrances against those who apply for license 
to sell liquor outside of business district in Sullivan. 

May 4, 1905 — Several appHcants for license in Cass township 
refused because of remonstrance. 

Aug. 10, 1905 — Licenses granted to sell liquor in Sullivan, 
Shelburn and other places. Gill township was the first in the 
county to file remonstrance under the Moore law, and it proved 

July 20, 1905 — Meeting of representatives from Curry, Ham- 
ilton, Jackson, Haddon and Gill townships organize a Sullivan 
County Law and Order League, W. D. Scott chosen president of 
the Hamilton township branch. 

Feb. 15, 1906 — Sullivan one of the few counties in the state 
in which saloons have increased in the past year, the number hav- 
ing increased from 55 to 64. This is due no doubt to the growth 
of mining camps. Dugger. a mining town, has no saloons, and all 
Cass township is dry under the Moore law. 

Sept. 6, 1906 — Remonstrance signed by 578 persons filed by 
Currv township, a majority of 67. At present there are 64 saloons 
in the county, 22 being in Curry township. 

April 4, 1907 — Fairbanks township now dry. 


A remarkable proof of the widespreafl activities and influence of 
^lasonry is found in the estalihshnient of a lodge in Sullivan county only 
a few years after the organization of the county, while the churches and 
schools and other essential institutions of society were still in primitive 
condition. Hiram Lodge No. 18, F. & A. AL, was chartered at Carlisle in 
1 82 1. This charter with its number w'as given to Attica Lodge in 1835, 
but in 1850 a reorganization was elifected, and this time the lodge got the 
third number in Indiana Masonry, the lodge being henceforth known as 
Carlisle Lodge No. 3. the number being taken from an arrested lodge. 
Among the early Masons at Carlisle was John W. Davis, who is reported 
to have paid his dues with "one quart of cherry bounce." 

A lodge of Masons, Shelburn Lodge, No. 369, was organized at the 
villaee of Shelburn in 1867. At Merom the Masons were earlier in activ- 
ity. After conducting Masonic work for a while under dispensation, they 
were granted a charter in 1863. 

W. H. Cornelius, Alex Knoy, Willis G. Neft", and Joseph W. Briggs 
were the principal movers in the organization of Masonry in the town of 
Sullivan. They worked under a dispensation from June, 1859, until Sulli- 
van Lodge No. 263 v/as chartered on May 30. 1,860. Twenty years later 
this was the strongest and richest fraternal organization in the county. 



One of the notewortliy occasions in the history of Masonry in this 
County was the assenihUng, on June 24. 1868, of several hundred ^Masons 
of the county and state at the Sulhvan fair grounds. The Merom band 
was present, and a general celebration indulged in, the chief feature of 
which was the institution of the newl}- organized Shelburn lodge. The 
Masonic hall at Sullivan was dedicated in January, 1886. 

Six residents of Carlisle were granted a charter to form a lodge of 
Odd Fellowship on January 30, 1850, and with that event begins the 
career of Carlisle Lodge No. 50, I. O. O. F. The six charter members 
were : J. H. Massey, T. Leuep, John Caldwell, Edward S. Hussey, James 
A. Curtner, A. M. Murphy. 

The progress of Odd Fellowship in the southern part of the county 
was denoted in the organization of Morse Encampment No. 139, for which 
a charter was granted May 16, 1876. 

Some of the prominent Odd Fellows in the southern part of the 
county are noted in the list of officers for the Carlisle lodge for 1856 — 
John F. Curry, Hamet N. Helms, William M. Skinner, Thomas E. Ash- 
ley, A. A. Curry, W. D. Blackburn, J. \\ Caddington. William F. Dodds. 

At the same date the officers elected for Sullivan Lodge No. 147 were 
John J. Thompson, John P. Duffic}-, James W. Hinkle, William Wilson. 
This lodge was organized July 18, 1854. Its lodge hall was destroyed by 
fire in November, 1858, and a few, faithful members upheld its existence 
until the end of the war and the return of men's interests to the regular 
pursuits of life. In 1869 a new charter was received, and in July, 1878, 
a new hall was dedicated, the lodge having built, in connection with a 
business firm, a two-story brick building on Jackson street near the south- 
west corner of the square. 

In 1873 Prairie Lodge, I. O. O. F., was organized at Shelburn. This . 
lodge dedicated its new hall in August, 1884. 

Vol. 1—20 


In tlie same }-ear Pleasantville Lodge No. 408 was instituted, and 
the order became so active in this part of the county that in 1879 Pleasant- 
ville Encampment No. 148 was chartered. 

Hymera Lodge No. 603 was instituted at Pittsburg (Hymera) in 
October, 1883. the special deputy in charge of the organization being 
IMurray Briggs. Dr. L. K. Stock, Frank Need, James ]\Ianwaring and 
S. O. Self were the first officers. 

Oriole Lodge No. 616 was instituted at Dugger in September, 1885, 
the first officers being W. H. Slocum, Alexander Pope, George E. Sco- 
field, T. S. Bedwell and Ed Cochran. 

During the last twenty years Odd Fellowship has become a strong 
fraternal order at Farmersburg. Lodge No. 622 was organized there in 
June, 1886, with 19 members, the first officers being Dr. R. W. \'an 
Cleave, Dr. Thomas Kennedy, Daniel Moore. F. Kirkham. In 1894 this 
lodge built a new hall, which was dedicated December 5th. In the mean- 
time its membership had increased to fifty, and in October, 1893, an 
encampment of thirty members was organized, and on December 29th the 
Farmersburg Hannah Ruth Lodge No. 432 was organized with 22 

An Odd Fellows lodge was organized at Buell City in Febru- 
ary, 1887. 

The Knights of Pythias reorganized their Sullivan lodge September 
16, 1891, after a period of inactivity by the old lodge. P. H. Blue, F. E. 
Easier, C. J. Sherman. W. H. Burks, William ^NlcCammon were among 
the officers chosen at the reorganization. 

Camp No. 3567 of the ^Modern Woodmen was established at Sullivan 
in February, 1896, with 18 beneficiary members, J. T. Whitman, Joseph 
Freeman. Jesse Creager and L. E. Townsley being among the first officers. 


A lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organ- 
ized at Snllivan ]\Iay 2, 1904, their first set of officers being James R. 
Riggs, Milton A. Haddon, lul J. Hoke, William H. Bridwell, P. A. Barco, 
B. C. Crowder, C. H. Stratton, P. L. Reid, Arthur R. Martin. 



The value of libraries was recognized by the convention that framed 
the first state constitution in 1816. A clause was inserted in the constitu- 
tion making it the duty of the general assembly, whenever a new^ county 
was laid off, to reserve ten per cent of the money received from the sale of 
lots in the county seat for the use of a public library. In 1818 a law for 
the incorporation of public libraries was enacted. Several county libraries 
were established under this law. In 1852 a law was passed providing for 
a tax of one-quarter of a mill on the dollar, and twenty-five cents on each 
poll, to be used in the purchase of township libraries. 

Little is known about the Sullivan county library as first established. 
A president (Samuel Judah ) and seven trustees were elected in 1821. 
Part of the money derived from the sale of lots at ^lerom was probably 
applied in the purchase of books, though the residue of the library fund 
was lost by the treasurer. Whether the sum was recovered from the 
bondsmen is not known. An act of the county board in June, 1853, 
ordered '"that there be appropriated from the county treasury the sum of 
$500 for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a public library in 
the county of Sullivan, out of the ten per cent reserved of the net proceeds 
of all lots within the town where the county seat is situated, and ten per 



cent on the donations made to procure the location (j1 the county scat of 
said county." A Hbrary room was estabHshed in the court house, the 
county clerk being librarian. By December, 1854, six hundred dollars' 
worth of books had been bought. 

Under the law of 1852, by which the people were taxed for the sup- 
port of township libraries, the state began the distribution of such libraries. 
Sullivan county, having a population less ihan fifteen thousand and more 
than ten thousand, was entitled to eight libraries. The first distribution, 
in December, 1854, was as follows: Haddon township, 108 books; Ham- 
ilton, 108 books; Gill, 103 books; Turman, 100 books; Fairbanks, 98 
books ; Jackson, 93 books ; Curry, 87 books ; Jefiferson, 85 books ; Cass. 
82 books. The full library was 325 volumes, and in 1855 six of the town- 
ships received full libraries, and the other three were apportioned two- 
thirds libraries. In 1855 the Gill township library was kept in a saddler's 
shop at New Lebanon, Massom Ridge way being librarian. 

The notable benefaction of the wealthy citizen of New Harmony 
which resulted in the establishment in many places of the McClure 
mechanics' institutes and libraries was also represented in Sullivan county. 
By the provisions of the donation, three hundred dollars was given to an 
association of mechanics who would raise one hundred dollars to buy 
books. Such a library and institute was organized in Sullivan about 
1856, and exerted considerable influence on the thought and reading of the 
time, a course of lectures being maintained here one year under its 
auspices. New Lebanon also had a similar organization. 

As to what became of the old county library, the following explana- 
tion appeared in the Democrat (December 30, 1884) : The books were left 
in boxes for a long time in the clerk's ofifice, and when shelves were at last 
put up no care was taken of the books. The room assigned for these 
books was afterwards given to the clerk, and the books taken up stairs 


and put in a room tlien occupied by Calvin Taylor as a law office. During 
the remodeling of the court house, the library was dissipated, and only 
a stray volume here and there is left as a reminder of the old collection. 

At one time there existed what was known as the People's Librarv, 
a collection of about two hundred volumes. Fifty persons had each sub- 
scribed two dollars to form this collection, which was kept for a while 
in the W. C. T. U. rooms on the south side of the scjuare, but finally went 
into the American Bible Society's depository. During the eighties a read- 
ing room was maintained by some of the women of Sullivan, who occa- 
sionally gave lunches and served ice cream and cake to raise money for 
the enterprise. 

Carnegie Library. 

The establishment of the Carnegie Library at Sullivan was mainly 
due to the Woman's Club of that town. The history of perhaps the 
majority of the libraries in the middle west present a similar record of 
the enterprise and labors of women in behalf of the intellectual advantages 
and welfare of their respective towns. 

In 1899 the Woman's Club appointed a committee to work for this 
object, the members of the committee being, J\Irs. Anna Sheridan, chair- 
man ; ]\Irs. Mary Davis, Mrs. Amelia Crowder, Mrs. Helen ^Mahley, ]\Irs. 
Ida Thompson, ]\Irs. ]\Iary Hays, Mrs. Rachel Harris. By entertainments 
and lectures a library fund of one hundred was accumulated, but the 
movement progressed slowly, and letters to Mr. Carnegie met with no 
response. In 1901 the legislature passed the new library law, requiring a 
town board to lay a library tax provided a fund ec[ual to a tax of two- 
tenths of a mill had been raised by popular subscription. The conditions 
were met in Sullivan, the fund raised and a site offered for the library, 
and the facts were stated in a letter to Mr. Carnegie. In answer came a 
promise of $10,000 for the library building. 


In March, 1904, the contract fur the hl)rar\- IjuiUhnj^' was let to J. I'. 
Nicholas for $8,276, and on June nth following- the cornerstone was laid, 
with Masonic ceremonies. The building;- was dedicated January 19, 1906. 
The pupils of the schools visited the buildino' by grades in the afternoon, 
and man}^ of the school children and other visitors brought books to con- 
tribute to the library collection. In the evening the presentation address 
was made by John T. Hays, and the building was accepted on behalf (jf the 
town by William T. Douthitt. Other speakers were Prof. Robert J. Aley 
of the Indiana Universit}-, Miss Merica Hoagland of the Indiana Library 
Commission, and Mrs. W. R. Nesbit and Mrs. John Chaney. 

Some interesting details concerning the establishment of the 
library are contained in the following chronological notes, taken 
from the newspapers : 

April 10, iy02 — The clubs of town Ijegin to try to raise money 
for a public library. The women are trying to raise $760 to fill the 
requirements of law — that being equal to a tax of two-tenths mill on 
each dollar of taxable property. Fifteen dollars is the highest sum 
to be asked from any one person. 

April 17, 1902 — In response to a committee from the various 
clubs of the town, headed by Mrs. O. B. Harris, the town board has 
levied a tax of six-tenths mill for librar}- purposes, which gives an 
income of $1,100 a year. The amount sought l\v popular subscrij)- 
tion had been obtained. 

July 17, 1902 — The library board is made up of the following 
persons: Mrs. P. H. Blue, John T. Hays and ?\frs. Florence Higbee, 
appointed by Judge O. B. Harris ; George R. Button and Dr. Anna 
E. Sheridan, appointed by the town board; and Mrs. O. B. Harris 
and John S. Bays, appointed by the school board. Jul\- 24 — Mrs. 
Harris was elected president, Mrs. Higbee secretary, and Mr. Button 

Nov. 13, 1902 — A reading room over IMcClanahan's store has 
been opened to the public, x^ll the late magazines are supplied, and 
in a back room is a table with games. 

Januarv, 1903 — Letter dated Jan. 13 from Mr. Carnegie promis- 


ing $10,000, the town board having promised not less than one 
thousand dollars a year. 

March 28, 1903 — Library board accepts offer made by Dr. L. A. 
Stewart and others of a lot for the library at the corner of Thomp- 
son and Eaton streets, west end of Jackson. 

Aug. 2^, 1903 — Strikes at stone quarries and the prospect of a 
direct line to the quarries when the Southern Indiana Railroad 
reaches Sullivan make it advisable to wait until 1904 to build. 

Nov. 12, 1903 — Library board accepts plans of P. O. ]\Ioratz, 
an architect of Bloomington, Illinois. 

June II, 1904— Laying of cornerstone. Procession headed by 
library board and ^^'oman's Club, to which bodies is due a large 
share of the credit for the establishment of the library. George E. 
Grimes, master of Masonic ceremonies, and other participants in 
the proceedings were Rev. W. H. Grim, Grand blaster Frank E. 
Gavin, ]\Irs. O. B. Harris and John C. Chaney. 

Sept. 8, 1904 — Miss Julia Mason appointed librarian. 

March 8, 1906 — Carnegie donates another thousand dollars to 
be used for putting in a furnace and furnishing the basement of the 

June 4, 1906 — L^nveiling at public library of bust of Daniel W. 
Voorhees, replica of the one in the Library of Congress. Miss 
Naomi Harris in charge of the ceremony, and an address by Claude 
G. Bowers, of Terre Haute. 

The Academy of Science of Sullivan county was an institution which 
was organized for the promotion of scientific studies and investigation. 
The meeting for organization was held July 17. 1882, the first officers 
elected being: Sewell Coulson, president; J. R. Hinkle, vice president; 
John C. Chaney, secretary ; John W. Spencer, corresponding secretary ; 
John T. Gunn. treasurer; George W. Buff", Uriah Coulson and O. J. 
Craigf. trustees. 


Floods and overflows have from the first settlement to the present 
time been a serious problem to the residents of the Wabash valley. The 
flood plain of the river, on one side or the other and sometimes on both 
sides of this stream, contain thousands of acres of rich soil that, under 
favorable conditions, produce the largest yields per acre in the county. 
Inland from the river are also large areas which, though of undulating 
topography, have sluggish drainage and in times of great rainfall become 
inundated, resulting in damage and occasionally total destruction of the 
year's crops. 

In Fairbanks, Turman, Gill and Haddon townships, bordering on 
the Wabash, are the most serious aspects of the problem. The meander- 
ing tributaries that drain the water of these townships into the river are 
quite inadequate, and the fertile prairies have often been untillablc because 
of excessive rains. 

At an earlier day the drainage of farms was left largely to nature 
and such means as the individual alone could undertake. By an act of 
Congress of September 28, 1850 (Sec. 2479, R. V. U. S.) all of the 
swamps and overflowed lands in Indiana, luifit for cultivation, were 
granted to the state. The smallest subdivision was taken as a basis and 
where over fifty percent of such tract came within the provision of the 



statute the ^vhole was to be included. By this act a little over ten thou- 
sand acres, in Sullivan county, were included in this grant of "swamp 
land." The greater part of these lands were along the Wabash river 
and lUisseron creek in the "civil townships" of Fairbanks, Turman, Gill 
and Haddon. Of the "congressional townships." T. 6 N. R. lO W. and 
T. 8 and R. 8 contained the largest acreage— the former having ninety- 
four forty-acre tracts and the latter forty-nine. This grant was accepted 
by the state and legislature by an act of the general assembly, approved 
May 29, 1852, provided for the sale of these lands and the application 
of the proceeds. The lands were put on the market at $1.25 an acre, in 
cash, and this was to be a "special fund" to be used in reclaiming the 
lands and for no other purpose. (Those interested are referred to the 
act itself for particulars.) 

This was not much inducement to buyers, for at that time better 
lands could be bought from the government at the same price. Much 
of this land, however, was bought by the owners of contiguous farms for 
pasture and range for stock, and for this purpose was a valuable addition 
to their tillable farms. 

No thought, it seems, had occurred to them of availing themselves of 
drains or levees, as many of them had already selected the same class of 
land, preferring it to the drier and higher land. About 1848 a system of 
levees were projected for preventing the overflow of low lands in the 
south end of Sullivan county and the north end of Knox county. The 
distance covered about five miles— three in Sullivan and two in Knox — ■ 
and were designed to benefit several thousand acres in the two counties. 
I\Iuch of this land was already fenced and in cultivation and very pro- 
ductive, but owing to frec[uent high water fences and crops were dam- 
aged or carried away. The enterprise was to be carried out by a volun- 
tary association of those who had a community of interest. The survey 


indicated that by a series of levees varying- in height from three to twelve 
feet and in length from a few hundred yards to one mile, all of the lands 
south and east of the survey would be protected. As there are no records 
of this work no particulars can be given. 

The contract was let to Solomon Wolfe, who Ix'gan ilie work at 
once, and as there were many idle men who had been at work on the 
"Wabash and Erie canal," the work was soon completed. This experi- 
ment was successful in saving, two or three crops, which more than paid 
the expense, but by reason of exceedingly high water a portion of the 
work was destroyed. This was largely due to faulty engineering (if 
any), as there was only one foot of base to one of height and only three 
feet of width on top and the elevation only one foot above high water 
mark. Xo account had been taken of the fact that when the water was 
shut out of so much low land and confined to a narrow channel it would 
reach a greater height. The lesson was expensive, but it was worth what 
it cost, as the levees have been rebuilt on a more scientific basis, and are 
still doing service. None of the land included in this levee district was 
effected by the acts of the state or general government heretofore cited. 
They had all been entered long prior to the passage of those laws, but it 
is a little remarkable that those who have bought up large quantities of 
those lands since those laws went into eft'ect and have expended large 
sums in reclaiming those lands have not availed themselves of the benefits 
offered by the government and the state in all cases wliere the same were 

In 1869 a state ditching law was passed, though it has been only 
within the last quarter of a century that effective co-operation has brought 
about any noteworthy results. The residents of Gill Prairie were prob- 
ably the first to undertake the work on an extensive scale, such as would 
benefit a large area. In 1886 the contract was let for the construction 


of a seven-mile ditch. John Rogers was ditch commissioner at the time, 
and the ditch was often called the Rogers ditch. Its benefits were more 
than the improvement of the lands for purposes of tilling, for the removal 
of stagnant pools and swamps also caused a cessation, to a large degree, 
of the chills and fevers which had always been prevalent. 

In 1889 an act was passed by the legislature providing for the incor- 
poration of associations and the issuing of bonds for the purpose of 
drainage and the prevention of overflows by the cutting of ditches, the 
construction of levees, etc., the cost of such improvements to be propor- 
tionately assessed against the lands thereby benefited. In 1903 the 
former ditching law was amended, and the opportunities for remonstrance 
against the proposed improvement were decreased. 

The building of ditches and levees has cost the county and its citi- 
zens thousands of dollars during the last ten or fifteen years. The con- 
struction of levees to protect the farm lands from the high waters of the 
river has received special attention within the last few years. The land- 
owners of Gill township petitioned for the building of a levee in 1893, 
and one was subsequently built in that township. During the high waters 
of July, 1902, it was estimated that the Gill levee had protected twelve 
thousand acres from overflow. The levee was built at a cost of nearly 
seventy-five thousand dollars, being twelve miles long, and the lands bene- 
fited were said to have been raised in value from almost nothing to from 
fifty to eighty dollars an acre. 

In the summer of 1902 the movement was taken up to construct a 
levee along the \\^abash in Fairbanks and Turman townships. This 
resulted in the following year in the organization of the Island Levee 
Association, which in July voted to build the levee. Suits were brought 
to prevent the work, but were finally compromised, and the route of the 
levee was surveyed from a point one mile north of the Turman-Fairbanks 


township line to the mouth of Turman creek, thence alon.fy the creek to 
ColHer's bridge. The total length was eleven miles, and the cost of con- 
struction was nearly ninety thousand dollars. Bonds were issued to the 
amount of eighty-five thousand five hundred dollars to pay for the work. 
In several of the floods which have taken place in recent years the 
water has broken through the levees, and almost destroyed the embank- 
ments, and in several cases the levees have been saved only by cutting 
them and allowing the floods to spread out over the fields. Ditches and 
levees have often proved inadequate to cope with the conditions resulting 
from excessive rainfall, but on the whole these means have effected vast 
saving and have added much wealth in real estate and productivity to 
the county's resources. 



The Sullivan County Agricultural Society was organized at Carlisle 
in 1852, and the first fair was held in October. The principal officers 
at that time were W. D. Blackburn, James H. Reid and J. H. Paxton. 
In a few years Merom and Sullivan became rival claimants against Car- 
lisle for the fair, but when the directors decided to let the fair be held at 
the place which contributed the most money, Carlisle retained the title by 
raising $326 and thus secured the fair meetings for the following five 
years. Some facts about the fourth annual fair, in 1855, are found in 
the Sullivan Democrat of that year. The grounds were located near the 
depot, on the east side of town. Races were the principal feature, and 
one of the events of this fair was a riding match between three ladies. 
The gate admission was ten cents, and the total receipts from this source 
were only fifty dollars. The premiums amounting to over three hundred 
dollars, the association's treasury was bankrupt. 

The fairs were held at Carlisle for twelve successive vears, but few 
were successful and the attractions were meager, and popular interest 
almost completely failed during the years of the war. In 1865 it was 
voted to move the fair to Sullivan, but no fair was held during that year, 



the first one at the county scat being- in the fall of 1866. In 1868 the 
association leased the g.rounds from John Giles, on the west side of the 
Sullivan-Fairbanks road. The fairs were held with moderate success for 
a few years, but that of 1878 was pronounced a flat failure and nothing 
more was heard of the societ)' until 1885, when C. 1'. Riggs was presi- 
dent and C. M. Stewart secretary. A very successful fair was held in 
1886. In 1888 many improvements were made, a new track built, dee]) 
wells sunk on the grounds, and new amphitheater and floral hall. Since 
1896 the annual county fair has ceased to be an institution. 

In 1908 an association, of which C. D. Hunt was president, inaugu- 
rated a series of "People's Saturday Fairs," comprising varied attrac- 
tions and events scheduled for each Saturday, beginning August 15 and 
closing October 31. These brought a large number of people into Sulli- 
van and aroused much interest. 

The Grange. 

During the seventies the Grange movement was a strong influence 
in this and other counties of Indiana. For several years it was a force 
to be reckoned with in politics, and in many communities newspapers 
were established and devoted their columns principally to the promotion 
of the interests of the organization. The general organization took the 
name of Patrons of Husbandry and the local lodges were Granges. In a 
few states the order is still strong, though its activity is now almost 
entirely confined to the advancement of the economic and social welfare 
of the farmers through co-operation and organization and does not appear 
as a political factor. 

This order reached its height in Sullivan county between 1874 and 
1876. Its essential purposes were thus defined : 


To secure social and educational advantages. 

To help in sickness, death and pecuniary misfortune. 

Knowledge of farming. 

Economics in purchasing. 

Abolition of credit system. 

Co-operation in trade. 
The Granges reported as organized in this county in January, 1874. 
were the following: Buck Creek, William M. Moore, master; Cass 
Grange, J- S. ^^loss. master: Jefferson Grange, John Hume, master; 
Curry Grange, Ed ^lorgan, master; Turman Grange, T. K. Cushman, 
master ; Oak Grange, John A. ^NIcKee. master ; Turtle Creek Grange, 
George \V. Hanchett, master ; Fairbanks Grange, Eli Dix, master ; Con- 
cord Grange, Elisha Chestnut, master ; Union Grange, John Boles, master. 

F. M. B. A. 

The first lodge of the Farmers' ^lutual Benefit Association organized 
in Sullivan county was at Pleasantville, July 24, 1889, with twenty-seven 
charter members. The objects of the association were to unite farmers 
in all matters pertaining to the interest of their calling, to improve the 
methods of agriculture, horticulture and stock raising, to devise and 
encourage such systems of concentration and co-operation as will 
diminish the cost of production, etc. 

October 26, 1889, the county assembly of the F. I\I. B. A. was organ- 
ized at Carlisle, composed of eighteen delegates, representing the twelve 
subordinate lodges of the county. James L. Xash, of the Paxton lodge, 
was elected president, and W. I. Long, of the Jeft'erson lodge, was elected 
secretary. In January, 1890, the reports of the county assembly showed 
the membership of the F. M. B. A. in the county to be 1,516. 


The F. M. B. A. liad some thin^^s in common witli the Patrons of 
Husbandrv, or Grange. It also, durino- the two or three vears following: 
its organization, had some of the characteristics of the Populist move- 
ment. It attempted to maintain a farmers' store, it also sought to secure 
legislation in behalf of the farmer and laborer, and the last record of its 
activity in the county, during the panicky days of 1893, was a resolution 
declaring for the free and unlimited coinage of silver. 'J"he association 
also endeavored to operate a milling plant and a grain and wool warehouse 
in the interests of its members. Among other principles and policies to 
which it declared allegiance were an income tax, the ])rohibition of alien 
ownership of land, reduction of salaries of county ofificials, opposition to 
the construction of gravel roads bv taxation, etc. The V. Al. 15. A. was 
part of the great national movement that afifected the politics and social 
life of the people of the United States during the early nineties, and with 
the passing of the crisis of that movement the history of the local organi- 
zation seems to have come to an end. 

Fanners' Institute. 

The Farmers' Institute, held for the discussion of questions relating 
to agriculture and all departments of the farmer's life, has long been an 
important factor in the agricultural progress of this and other states. The 
first Farmers' Institute in Sullivan county was organized twenty years 
ago. The preliminary meeting was held in the court house in l-'ebruary, 
1889, with Dan Herbert chairman and T. J. Wolfe secretary. When the 
organization was completed, February i6th, al)out sixty names were 
enrolled as members, and the following occupied official positions : John 
L. Shields. Samuel Nicholson, John Sisson, W^illiam Purcell, Ed Pearson. 
E. C. Gaskins. James Pounds, W. M. Moore, George Goodwin. The 

Vol. 1—21 


Institute has held meetings at different points in the county and the 
attendance has usually been large. Besides the discussions by the prac- 
tical farmers and their wives, experts have been invited to the meetings, 
and one or more are usually present each time. 


One of the important facilities of business and domestic life and one 
that has become so essentially a part of modern life that people seldom 
realize the conditions of a few years past, is the telephone. In June, 1882, 
the county commissioners granted the Sullivan Telephone Exchange Com- 
pany the right to erect poles and wires along and across the roads of the 
county, and by the latter part of July following the exchange was in 
operation in Sullivan. Connection was perfected to Carlisle in August 
of the same year, the instrument being located in the railroad station and 
there being only one in town. 

This was the beginning of the Central Union Telephone Company, 
which in 1883 had about 350 individual telephones in Terre Haute and 
had extended its service to the adjacent towns of Brazil, Greencastle, 
Carbon, Sullivan, Shelburn, Farmersburg, Paris, Marshall, \'incennes, 
and the city of Indianapolis. 

However, it is within the last dozen years that the telephone has 
become a familiar aid and convenience in Sullivan county. While the 
Bell Company had a monopoly the expense of individual service pre- 
vented its general extension, and it appears that during the early nineties 
the only telephone service in Sullivan was long-distance connection with 
other towns. An item in the Democrat of February 2, 1894, says that 



the telephone was a wonderful convenience and was generally patronized, 
but was finally abandoned on account of the high cost, and with the 
expiration of the patent on the Bell instrument it was hoped that the 
price might be lowered. In 1897 another item offers the use of the 
Democrat phone to all its friends, from which it is clear that the use of 
the telephone was still very limited in this town. In 1904 the Central 
Union Telephone Company was granted a franchise to enter Sullivan. It 
had been granted a similar franchise in 1896, but had not taken advantage 
of its provisions. This action of the Bell interests in seeking to extend 
its business in Sullivan was no doubt the result of the great activity on 
the part of the independent local companies. In 1903 the Farmersburg 
Mutual Telephone Company and the Hayworth Telephone Company had 
lines in operation in the northern part of the county, while there were 
local exchanges in Fairbanks and Turman townships, and in Jefferson 
and perhaps in other townships. Most of these exchanges were operated 
on the co-operative plan, and the service cost very little. At the Pleasant- 
ville exchange each subscriber paid fifty cents each three months, and 
this was more than sufficient to pay expenses. Since that time there has 
been a gradual consolidation of the independent interests and the Sullivan 
Telephone Company, which was incorporated in 1903, controls or works 
in agreement with the independent telephone systems throughout the 
countv and state and in Illinois. 


A few years ago the free delivery of mail from the postoffice to indi- 
viduals was regarded as a luxury which was only possible in large cities. 
It is indicative of the rapid progress of our country during the last two 
decades that at the close of the fiscal year in June, 1906, there were in 
the United States 35,766 routes for the free delivery of mail from the 
postoffice to country residents, some of those who received the benefits 
of the system residing as much as a dozen miles from the postoffice. The 
annual expenditure of the government during the above year for this 
kind of service amounted to about twenty-five million dollars. 

Free delivery of mail through country districts was first given a 
practical trial in the United States in 1896, onl\- ten years before the 
remarkable system had been attained which is indicated in the statistics 
for 1906. At the end of the first fiscal year in June, 1897, only $14,840 had 
been expended on these experiments, and but eigjity-three carriers were 
employed. Rural delivery was begun as an experiment, and its continu- 
ance and expansion were left to the discretion of the postmaster general. 
It was on this experimental basis that appropriations were made until 
July, 1902, when the service was formally adopted and declared to be a 
permanent part of the postal system of the United States. 




The conditions precedent to the estabHshment of rural free deHvery 
routes are — Good roads, unobstructed by gates, no unbridged creeks or 
streams not fordable at all seasons, and a possible patronage of one hun- 
dred or more families on each route of twenty-four miles. Such condi- 
tions represent a long advance over such primitive roads and scattered 
settlement as prevailed in Sullivan county during the first half of the 
last century, and for this reason rural free delivery is entirely character- 
istic of modern life. 

The first rural delivery routes in Sullivan count}' were established in 
April, 1903, two wagons being started from Sullivan, one north and one 
south, and Farmersburg was also chosen as a center of distribution. By 
July, 1904, there were six routes radiating from the county seat, and by 
April, 1905, sixteen routes were in operation in the county, and a little 
later seventeen new ones were established, giving daily mail facilities to 
practically ever}- corner of the county. 

A noteworthy result of rural delivery has been the abolition of rural 
postoffices, formerly maintained for the convenience of a neighborhood, 
but which under present conditions are not justified by the business and 
population of the locality. The postoffices in Sullivan county in January, 
1903 were 22 in number, being as follows: 

Alum Cave 













Jackson Hill 


X^ew Lebanon 








The postoffices of Sullivan county, according to the official postal 
guide for 1909, are the following: 



New Lebanon 





















State Senators 

William Polke. 
Thomas H. Blake, 
John Jenckes. 
John i\I. Coleman. 
William C. Linton. 
James Farrington. 
George Boon. 
James T. Moffatt. 
Ransom W. Akin. 
James H. Henry. 
James M. Hanna. 
^Michael Combs. 

frojji Sullivan County. 

1857. W. E. McLean. 

1861, Henry K. Wilson. 

1865, B. W. Hanna. 

1869, James M. Hanna. 

1871, Joshua Alsop. 

1872. M. B. Riggs. 
1875, Henry K. Wilson. 
1879, F. W. Viehe. 
1883. Joshua Ernest. 
1890, Charles T. Akin. 
1894, Andrew Humphreys. 
1902, George W. Thralls. 

State Representatives. 

1817-20, Robert Buntin. 

1820-22, Robert Sturgis. 

1820-22, John McDonald (repre- 
senting Sullivan and 

1822-23, Henry D. Palmer. 
1824, Josiah Mann. 
1825-30. George Boon. 
1831-32, John W. Davis. 
1833, James Depauw. 




1834, Joseph Latshavv. 

1835, Seth Cushman. 

1836, Joseph Briggs. 
Samuel Brown. 

^^37f Samuel Brown. 

William R. Haddon. 

1838, Samuel Brown. 
George Boon. 

1839, W. R. Haddon. 
Justus Davis. 

1840, George Boon. 

1 84 1, John W. Davis. 
Justus Davis. 

1842, John W. Davis. 

1843, Thomas Turnian. 

1845, Joli" H. Wilson. 
Silas Osborn. 

1846, Benjamin Wolfe. 
Silas Osborn. 

1847, Benjamin Wolfe. 

1848, Benjamin Wolfe. 
Silas Osborn. 

1849-50, James K. O'Haver. 

James H. Wier. 
1850, John H. Wilson. 

Theophilus Chowning. 
1853, Squire McDonald. 

William AlcKee. 
^^57' John W. Davis. 

Alichacl Branson. 
1858, David Usrey. 
1861. W. W. Owens. 
1863, S. ij. Burton. 
1867, Benjamin Wolfe. 
1869, N. D. Miles. 
1873, S. S. Coffman. 
1875, James L. Nash. 
1877, S. S. Coffman. 
1879, Jolin C. Briggs. 
1 88 1. Charles T. Akin. 

Charles T. Akin and 

James !>. Patten. 

John T. Beasley and 

E. A. Lacy. 
1890, John T. Beasley and 

I. N. Kester. 
1894, J. Higbee and 

J. W. Redman. 
1902, David N. Curry. 
1906, Thomas B. Springer. 


185 1, J. W. Davis. 

County Commissioners. 

The county commissioners at the time of the burning of the court 
house in February, 1850, were Joseph W. Wolfe, Jesse Haddon and Levi 



Maxwell. liaddoii's term expired the same year, and Wolfe's in 1851. 
The commissioners elected during- the succeeding years as vacancies 
occurred or terms expired are named in the following order : 












William Beard. 
Samuel Brodie. 
Jacoh Hoke (vice Brodie, 

Levi Maxwell. 
Josiah Wolfe. 
John A. Cummins. 
Hezekiah Riggs. 
John Sproatt. 
William H. Griffin. 
C. B. Shepherd. 
John A. Cummins. 
W. H. Griffin. 
C. B. Shepherd. 
Isham W. Allen. 
Eli Dix. 

Levi Woodward. 
Henry R. Wallace. 
Eli Dix. 

Levi Woodward. 
H. R. Wallace. 
Eli Dix. 
W'illiam Combs. 
William A. Thompson. 





Charles Scott. 
William Combs. 
Levi Woodward. 
Charles Scott. 
James J. Snyder. 
Phillip R. Jenkins (vice 
1879, Jackson Rich. 

1881, James J. Snyder. 

1882, Jacob Billman and 
William Arnett. 
Jacob Billman and 
William Schafter. 
Harrison Pitman and 
James Pounds. 
Harrison B. Pitman and 
James L. Nash. 

1894, John Wood and 
J. R. Joseph. 
Joseph Asbury and 
Wiley Gambill. 
Hilla Lovelace and 
Lewis O. Turnbull. 










Morgan Eaton (Januar) 

J to i860, 

}*Iatthc\v -McCammon 



Alexander Snow. 


Bailey Johnson. 


W. H. .Alayfield. 


George Boon. 


Thomas J. Land. 


Edward Wilks. 


John \' . Curry. 


Richard Dodd. 


Owen C. Hancock. 


Seth Cushman. 


John Dudley. 


Shadrack Sherman. 


James L. Berry. 


Absalom Hurst. 


L. H. Willis. 


John H. Wilson. 


\V. H. Hawkins. 


David H. Hancock. 


W. H. Hawkins. 


F. Garretson. 


William Mills. 


Henry Dooley. 


John S. Dudley. 


Zachariah Burton. 


Marion F. Walters. 


James W. Brodie. 


Frank Wible. 

1841-52. H. K. Wilson. 
1852-54, Joseph W. Wolfe. 
1855-59, H. K. Wilson. 
1859, Ferdinand Basler. 
1863, Ferdinand Basler. 
1867, Murray Briggs. 

1850, John S. Davis. 
1854, W. B. Ogle. 
1858, Ed Price. 

1872, Robert ^\. Griffith. 

1878. David Crawley. 

1890, William Willis. 

1894, James R. Riggs. 

1902, E. E. Russell. 

1906, Ben C. Crowder. 


1862, John Giles. 

1866. W. H. Griffin. 

1870, David Crawley. 



1874, Abraham McClellan. 

1878, C. P. Riggs. 

1882. Charles L. Davis. 

1890. Jonathan Scott. 

1817, John Jones. 

1817, Robert Bnntin. 

i8i'8, Samuel Coleman. 

1830, AI. E. Nash. 

1836, Benjamin Wolfe. 

1846, H. K. Wilson. 

1847, James H. Reed. 
1857, W. G. Neff. 

1894, Wm. R. Frakes. 
1902, A. V. Minich. 
1906, Tiiomas E. Ward. 


1 86 1, Robert K. Hamill. 

1865, J. L. Griffin. 

1874, John N. Fordyce. 

1882, Joshua Beasley. 

1890, \\ D. Cummins. 

1894, \'. D. Cummins. 

1902, W. L. Hunt. 

1906, A. J. Curry. 



Robert Buntin. 


Jesse Bicknell. 


Samuel Coleman, vice 



Thomas J. Alann 

tin, resigned. 


Thomas J. Mann 


Benjamin Wolfe. 


P. R. Jenkins. 


H. K. Wilson. 


Wm. M. Denney. 


Joseph W. Wolfe. 


Ed. Shepherd. 


J. W. Hinkle. 


Tilghman Ogle. 


Edward Price. 


Arthur E. DeBai 


W. C. Griffith. 


1818, John Wallace. 

^ ^ ^ 

1852, Enoch Walls. 

1854, W. S. Hinkle. 
1856, Samuel M. Reed. 
1858, Thomas B. Silvers. 



i860, Nathan Thomas, 

1870, Alonzo F. Estabrook. 

1888, B. E. Briggs 

1890, B. E. Briggs 

1892, F. ]\r. Cunningham. 

1902, R. L. Bailey, 

1906, R. L. Bailey. 

1908, Daniel Sisson. 


1817, William Ledgerwood (Jan- 1852, IkMijaniin Timmons. 

uary to September). 

181 7, John M. Peebles. 

18 18, William Ledgerwood. 

1819, John Jones. 

1820, George Alack. 
1822, James Lisman. 
1824, James Brooks. 
1826, Seth Cushman. 
1828, Shadrack Sherman. 
1830, Absalom Hurst. 
1832, William Hill. 
1836, Landon Parks. 
1838, Jesse J. Benefiel. 
1840, Joseph B. Booker. 
1842, George D. Clark. 

, 1846, Samuel Wilson. 

1848, Nimrod Walls. 

1850, Charles W. Hanley. 

1853, B. I). Walls. 

1854, A. S. Anderson. 
1856, SurrcU Nichols. 
1858. Daniel Case. 
i860, John Turner. 

1861, Thomas Mcintosh. 

1862, B. B. Neal. 
1868, James W. Brodie. 
1870, W. C. McBride. 
1872, S. T. Trout. 
1874, Caleb Snapp. 
1876, Owen Davis. 
1878, John Wagoner. 
1888, James E. Martin. 
1890, Oliver P. Harris. 
1902, W. P. Maxwell. 
1906, C. E. Brewer. 


The population of Knox county in 1800 and 1810, at both of which 
censuses Sullivan county was still a part of the original county, was as 


follows: 1800 — 2,402 and 28 slaves; 1810 — 4.551 and 135 slaves. The 
population of Sullivan county during the subsequent decades has been : 

1820 3,498 1870 18,453 

1830 4,630 1880 20,336 

1840 8,315 1890 21,887 

1850 10,141 1900 26,005 

i860 15,064 



By an act approved May 7, 1800. congress provided, "That from 
and after the fourth day of July next, all that ]:)art of the territory of 
the United States northwest of the Ohio river, which lies westward 
of the line beginning at the Ohio, opposite to the mouth of Kentucky 
river, and running thence to Fort Recovery, and thence north, until 
it shall intersect the territorial line between the I'nited States and 
Canada, shall, for the purpose of temporary government, constitute a 
separate territory, and be called the Indiana Territory." The act pro- 
vided further, "That there shall be established within the said territory 
a government in all respects similar to that provided by the ordinance 
of congress, passed on the thirteenth day of July. 1787, for the govern- 
ment of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio : 
and the inhabitants thereof shall be entitled to. and enjoy, all and singular, 
the rights, privileges and advantages granted and secured to the people 
by the said ordinance." A further provision of the act creating the 
Indiana territory was, "That so much of the ordinance for the govern- 
ment of the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio river, 
as relates to the organization of a general assembly therein, and pre- 



scribes the powers thereof, sliall be in force and operate in the Indiana 
territory, whenever satisfactory evidence shall be given to the governor 
thereof, that such is the wisli of a majority of the freeholders, notwith- 
standing there may not be therein five thousand free male inhabitants 
of the age of twenty-one years and upwards." But until there should 
be such five thousand inhabitants the representatives in the general 
assembly, if one should Ije organized, should be not less than seven nor 
more than nine ; to be apportioned by the governor among the several 
counties, agreeably to the number of free male inhabitants of the age of 
twenty-one years and upwards, in each. As to the eastern boundary 
line, as fixed in the act, it was further provided, "That whenever that 
jiart of the territory of the United States which lies to the eastward of 
a line beginning at the mouth of the Great Miami river, running thence 
due north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, 
shall be erected into an independent state, and admitted into the union 
on an equal footing with the original states, thenceforth said line shall 
become and remain permanently the boundary line between such state 
and the Indiana territory." A final provision was that, until the general 
assembly should determine otherwise, "Saint A'incennes, on the Wabash 
river, shall be the seat of government for the Indiana territory." 

The Harrison mansion is the naiue given to the venerable building in 
which the legislature of the territory held its sessions and in which the 
governor resided and w^here the general court was held. The building 
is still in a good state of preservation ; and efi:'orts have often been made 
to have the state secure it as a historical museum. 

The house, from an architectural point of view, as well as from its 
massiveness, seems remarkable. At the time it was erected its situation 
was a wilderness, far from civilization, and to get the materials for its 
construction, the glass, iron, etc., meant a year or more of time before 


they coukl be delivered at Vincennes. Historical societies have en- 
deavored to have it kept as a lasting monument to the memory of those 
who built so well and as a reminder that this was the birthplace of 
government, religion and education in the west. The building is two 
stories high, with a large attic, and a basement under the entire place. 
It was completed in 1805. The ceilings are thirteen and one-half feet 
high and the rooms are spacious. The walls arc of brick and inside and 
out are eighteen inches thick. The glass in the windows came from 
England, and it took two years to have it delivered. The wood was 
sawed with the old-fashioned whip-saw, and all the nails were hand- 
forged on the grounds. The woodwork is hard-paneled, finished with 
beading and is of solid, clear black walnut. It is said that the walnut 
in the house today is worth a small fortune. 

So came Indiana into existence, with a capital of her own, and with 
even a freer form of government than that of the northwest territory, 
prior to its legislative stage. The area of this new Indiana territory 
included all of the present state of Indiana, Except a small wedge-shaped 
section in the southeast part of the state, east of a line running from a 
point on the Ohio opposite the mouth of the Kentucky river, northeasterly 
to Fort Recovery, in the state of Ohio, this line being the old Indian 
boundary line, between those points named in the treaty of Greenville. 
The new territory included also a narrow strip less than three miles in 
width on the west side of the state of Ohio, north of Fort Recovery, and 
lying between the north and south line through I'ort Recovery and the 
present boundary of the two states. The territory included besides, all 
of the state of Michigan lying west of the north and south line through 
Fort Recovery : also the whole of Illinois and Wisconsin : and so 
much of Minnesota as Hes east of the Mississippi river. The limits of 
the Indiana territory, for a time, extended even west of the Mississippi. 
Vol. 1—22 


l')y an act appixived ]\larch 26, 1804. congress attached to Indiana all that 
part of Louisiana west of the Mississippi and north of the thirty-third 
degree of north latitude, under the name of the District of Louisiana. 
At a session of the governor and judges of Indiana territor}-, held at 
Vincennes, beginning October i, 1804. a number of laws were adopted 
for the District of Louisiana. During the following year, however. b\- an 
act of congress approved March 3, 1805, this district was organized into 
a separate territory. This was truly an imperial domain. Detroit. Sault 
Ste. ]vlarie. St. Ignace, with eastern Michigan and all Ohio, re- 
mained in the northwest territory until the admission of Ohio as 
a state of the Union, November 29. 1802. when the northwest 
territory, as a political division, ceased to exist. At that date also, 
congress attached to Indiana the remainder of Michigan, or Wavne 
county, as it was then called; and, in 1803, \\'i]liam Henry Harrison, as 
governor of the Indiana territory, assumed jurisdiction over all of ]\Iich- 
igan, and extended the limits of Wayne county to Lake Michigan. 
Thereafter, until the formation of the territory of Michigan, June 30, 
1805, Detroit, Sault Ste. Alarie, and St. Ignace, as well as the sites of 
Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Niles. with all the valley 
of the St. Joseph, were in Indiana. Chicago and St. Louis were then 
in Indiana ; and so were the sites of Milwaukee, St. Paul, ^linneapolis 
and Duluth. The inland sea, Lake Michigan, was wholly within the 
Indiana territory. The ambition of Napoleon is said to have been to 
make the Mediterranean a French lake ; and he came near succeeding. 
La Salle made Lake Michigan a French lake ; it was afterwards a 
British lake ; and now it is the only one of the great lakes that is wholly 
American ; in the first years of the nineteenth century, it was an Indiana 
lake, surrotmded on every side by Indiana territory. 

On May 13, 1800, the appointment by the president of William 


] lenrv Harrison, of N'ir^inia, as first governor of tlic liidiaiia tcrritorv 
was contirnietl 1)\- the senate. Harrison liad I)een secretary of the 
northwest territory, and also delegate in congress from that lerriior\. 
On the next day, John Cjibson. of Pennsylvania, a ])ioneer of distinction, 
was appointed first secretary of the territory. Jt was to Secretary (jibson 
that the great chief Logan, in 1774, delivered his celebrated >])eech, 
known to ever}- school bo)'. William Clark, 1 lenry X'anderburg and 
John Criffin were appointed the first judges of the territor\-. Harrison 
did not come to assume his olifice until January, 1801. |ohn (jibson. the 
secretar}-, arrived at A'incennes early in Jul\, iSoo. and. as acting 
governor, proceeded to make appointments of territorial ofticers and 
to provide for the administration of the afifairs of the new government, 
which was formally organized Jul\" 4, 1800. 'Hie first entr\- (jn the 
executive journal, dated at Saint \'incennes, Jnl\- 4, 1800, reads as 
follows: "This da} the government of the Indiana territory commenced. 
William Henrv Harrison having been appointed governor: John (iibson, 
secretary: William Clark, Henry \'ander lUirgh and John (iriffin, judges 
in and over said territory." This was the second time in the history of 
our commonwealth that July 4th proved to be a notable day. It was 
on July 4, 1778, that George Rogers Clark surprised and captured 
Kaskaskia, then the capital of the British possessions northwest of the 
Ohio, thus opening up the first page of our history, as a part of the 
American Union: and now again on July 4, 1800, was organized the 
government of Indiana, as an incipient commonwealth of the republic. 
On lannary 12, 1801, Governor Harrison having arrived at \"in- 
cennes and issued proclamation therefor, the governor and judges con- 
vened in legislative session and adopted laws for the government of the 
territorv. This was the first body ever convened within the present 
limits of Indiana to make laws for our commonwealth. Idie ordinance 


of 1787 continued in force, so far as applicable, as also the laws already 
adopted for the government of the northwest territory before the division. 
The new court, called the General Court of the Indiana territory, 
organized and held its first session at \'incennes. March 3, 1801. The 
court record opens as follows : "At a General Court of the Indiana 
Territory, called and held at Saint Vincennes the third day of March, 
in the year one thousand eight hundred and one. The commissions of 
the judges being read in open court, they took their seats, and present: 
William Clark, Henry \'ander Burgh and John Griffin, Judges. Henry 
Hurst, Clerk of the General Court, having produced his commission 
from the governor and a certificate of his having taken the oath of 
allegiance and oath of ofifice, took his place. John Rice Jones, Attorney- 
General, produced his commission, and a certificate of his having taken 
the oath of allegiance and oath of office." One of the orders made on this 
first day of court is of much significance. It was for the examination of 
certain persons "for counsellor's degree, agreeable to a law of the 
Territory." Among the persons so ordered to be examined as to his 
proficiency in the law was the Attorney-General himself, John Rice Jones. 
After obtaining their degree as counsellors, those distinguished gentlemen 
were required to appear at subsequent terms of court, to be examined 
for their second degree, for admission to practice as attorneys-at-law. 
Now-a-days it is the constitutional privilege of "every person of good 
moral character, being a voter," to be admitted "to practice law in all 
courts of justice." Which is the better system in "a government of the 
people, for the people, and by the people," may perhaps be a subject 
of debate. One may become a good lawyer, though admitted to practice 
without examination ; and he may be a poor lawyer, though admitted 
after tlie most severe examination. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in 
our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings." 


The business of this early supreme court was very light, as com- 
pared with the business of the courts of our day. From the organization 
of the court, ■March 3, 1801, until the close of its last term, September 
16, 1816, just before the territorial form of government gave way to the 
establishment of a permanent state government, two manuscript dockets, 
or order books, one of 457 and the other of 120 pages were found suffi- 
cient to contain all the orders of the court. The court sat at Vincennes 
from its organization until 1813, when the scat of government was 
removed to Corydon, in Harrison county. 

The general court, unlike the supreme court of our day, had original 
as well as appellate jurisdiction. The business, however, was usually 
appellate, the appeals being taken from the several county courts. Yet 
the most important case that came before the court was an original 
action for slander, brought by the governor, William Henry Harrison, 
against one William Mcintosh, a wealthy Scotch resident of A'incennes, 
and said to be a relative of the distinguished Sir James Mcintosh. The 
case was tried by a jury selected as follows: Forty-eight men were 
summoned by elisors, appointed by the court ; of these, the plaintifif struck 
out twelve names, after which the defendant struck out twelve. From 
the remaining twenty-four a jury of twelve men was drawn b\- lot. The 
jury gave the governor a verdict for four thousand dollars, a part of 
which was remitted and the rest given to charity. The judges of the 
general court, like the judges of our supreme court in their respective 
circuits, had power to preside in the circuit courts ; and we learn that 
Benjamin Parke, after whom Parke county was named, while judge of 
the general court, rode on horseback from Vincennes to AVayne county, 
to try a case of larceny. It is said that his judicial bench on that occasion 
was a log of wood. The case was one of petit larceny, — exceedingly 
petty, indeed, — the theft of a pocket knife. The people of those days 


sought the iusl enforceiTicnt of the law upon the statute books, accord- 
ing to its true inient and meaning", rather than the making of many new- 
laws. A speedv hearing, a fair trial, a prompt acquittal of the innocent, 
a certain conviction of the guilty, the taking of no man's property without 
right and the delay of no man in the recovery of what belonged to him. 
— these things seemed to our simple forefathers the true ends of the 
administration of justice. They deemed the enforcement of the old laws 
of more consequence than the making of new ones. To remedy mis- 
carriage of iustice. they looked to the courts and to the ot^cers appointed 
to administer the laws, rather than to the enactment of new laws. 

The tirst judges of the general court were succeeded by Thomas 
Terrv Davis. Waller Taylor, Benjamin Parke and James Scott. The 
last three occupied the bench until the territorial form of government 
came to a close, in 1816. The most distinguished of the judges, and one 
of the ablest public men in the history of Indiana, was Benjamin Parke. 
Soon after the close of his services as judge of the general court, he was 
appointed tirst judge of the United States district court for Lidiana, 
serving from 1817 until his death, in 1835. Waller Taylor was also a 
man of distinction. \\'hile judge of the general court he served as major 
with Harrison at the battle of Tippecanoe. On the organization of the 
state government, in 1816. he was chosen as one of the tirst United States 
senators from Indiana, and served for two terms. James Scott, the 
third member of the general court at the time of its dissolution, was 
appointed one of the first judges of the state supreme court, and served 
for fourteen years. The attorneys-general for the territorial period were 
three in number. — James Rice Jones, Benjamin Parke and Thomas 
Randolph. Jones was one of the compilers of the Indiana code of 1807. 
Disappointed in his political aspirations, he went to Illinois, and after- 
wr.rds to ^lissouri. He was a member of the first constitutional conven- 


tion of Missouri, and afterwards member of the supreme court of that 
state. Thomas Randolpli, thi.' last attorney-general of the territory, was 
a cousin of John Randolph of Roanoke. He was killed at the battle of 
Tippecanoe, in ]8i i. The office of attorney-general ceased to exist from 
his death until its re-establishment b}' the legislature, under the new 
constitution, in 1855. To Dcnjamin Parke, and to General Washington 
Johnston, another distinguished lawyer, our supreme court is indebted for 
the nucleus of its present librar}-, — one of the finest west of New York 
City. The books of Parke and Johnston upon the shelves of this librarv 
are made the more precious by the autographs of those eminent men. 
The salaries of the judges of the general court were seven hundred 
dollars a year each ; that of the attorney-general, at first sixt}- and after- 
wards one hundred dollars a year. 

The questions brought for decision before the general court of the 
Indiana territory were in many cases quite dift'erent from those that have 
since engaged the attention of our courts. Legislation itself was difl:"erent. 
Many acts now deemed criminal were then either sanctioned by the law, 
or at least looked u]X)n with indifference or even indulgence. On the 
other hand, scjme offenses were then punished more severely than at 
present. Not only treason and murder, but also arson, horse-stealing 
upon a second conviction, and rape were punishable by death. Burglary, 
hog stealing and bigamy, in addition to other penalties, rendered the 
oft'ender liable to be punished by whipping. But duelling was punishable 
only by a fine ; although all officers, whether legislative, executive or 
judicial, as well as attornevs-at-law, were required to take an oath that 
they had not given or accepted a challenge to a duel. In their legislation 
against corruption in elections, the men of those days seem to have 
been wiser than some of our modern legislators. They punished the 
briber, the bribe-giver: while more recent laws, in many cases, have 


punished only the bribe-taker. Liquor laws also differed widely from 
our own. Tavern keepers might have their licenses revoked, not only for 
failing- to do their duty towards their guests, as to giving proper attention 
and providing wholesome food for man and beast, but also for failure to 
keep on hand "ordinary liquors of good and salutary quality." Provisions 
of this kind, in favor of pure food and against adulteration, again seem 
to be receiving some attention from legislators, both in congress and in 
the general assembly. 

As we have already seen, provision was made for the erection of 
pillories and whipping posts in every county for the punishment of 
criminals. And not only men, but even women, were publicly whipped 
for violations of law. Imprisonment for debt was also authorized by the 
laws of the territory, as it was then generally throughout the United 
States. Lotteries, on the contrary, now regarded as not only illegal but 
even as immoral, were in those days, rather favored by the law. 

By an act of the legislature, approved September 17, 1807, the 
Vincennes university was chartered by the legislature. It is the oldest 
educational institution of that rank in the state, if not in the west. Among 
the provisions of the charter was one for the raising of twenty thousand 
dollars "for tlie purpose of procuring a library and the necessary philo- 
sophical and experimental apparatus" for such university. The trustees 
of the university were required to "appoint five discreet persons" as 
managers of the lottery, who were to have power "to adopt such schemes 
as they may deem proper, to sell the said tickets, and to superintend the 
drawing of the same, and the payment of the prizes." It was further 
provided that "said managers and trustees shall render an account of 
their proceedings therein at the next session of the legislattu'e after the 
drawing of said lottery." It is clear that our worthy forefathers thought 
pillories and whipping posts suitable and proper means for the punish- 


ment of wrong-doers; and that they were also of opinion that money 
for the promotion of the higher education of the people, might properly 
be secured by the establishment of a lottery. It was not until February 3, 
1832, that an act was passed by the legislature making the conducting 
of a lottery a misdemeanor ; but even in that act, for the purpose no doubt 
of protecting the Vincennes lottery, there was a saving clause in favor 
of lotteries "authorized by law." In the constitution of 185 1, however, 
the prohibition was made absolute, — that "no lottery shall be authorized ; 
nor shall the sale of lottery tickets be allowed." But, notwithstanding 
this distinct declaration in the constitution, added to the previous 
statutorv enactment, the trustees of the university still persisted in 
keeping up their lottery ; and in this practice they were long sustained by 
the courts. x\s late as the May term, 1879, o^ the supreme court, the 
lottery provision of the Vincennes university charter was held to be an 
inviolable contract, which neither the legislature nor even the people, 
in the framing of their constitution, could abrogate ; and the Dartmouth 
college case and other high authority was cited in support of the de- 
cision. "We hold," said the court, in Kelluni v. State, 66 Ind. 588. "that 
the lottery established by the board of trustees for the Vincennes 
university, under the fifteenth section of the territorial law for the 
incorporation of said university was and is a lottery 'authorized by law.' " 
It was not until the J\Iay term, 1883, of the court, in the case of State v. 
Woodward, 89 Ind. no. that the \'incennes lottery was finally declared 
illegal. The opinion in the case was the last written by the eminent jurist. 
James L. Worden ; and followed a then recent ruling of the supreme 
court of the United States. 

Another illustration of the persistence of customs which have long 
prevailed in a community, is exhibited in the history of slavery in Indiana. 
To manv persons the statement may be a surprise that human slavery ever 


existed witliiii the borders of this state. We must rememljer, however, 
tliat. on the conquest of the northwest by George Rogers Clark, all this 
country became a part of \'irginia, under the name of the county of Illi- 
nois. Our territory thus becoming a part of the state of \'irginia. slaver\- 
had a legal foothold here, as it had there. Besides, the French, and also 
the Indians, held slaves in the territory previous to the A'irginia conquest; 
the slaves so held being not only negroes but also captive Indians. After 
the deed of cession 1)\' X'irginia to the United States, it was uncertain 
for a time whether slavery should be recognized or not : but. in the ordi- 
nance of 1787. for the government of the territorv northwest of the 
Ohio, it was finally provided, in terms, that "There shall be neither slavery 
nor involuntary servitude in said territory, otherwise than in the punish- 
ment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."" The 
same prohibition was carried into both our state constitutions. Yet, 
under the plea that, before the passage of the ordinance, slave property 
had been lawfully acquired within the limits of the territory, it was ar- 
gued that the holders of such property could not be legally deprived of it. 
The argument was even made that a mother being a slave, her children 
could be born only as slaves, and that the owner of the mother became 
the owner of the children so born. 

The property interests of the country were enlisted in behalf of 
retaining the institution of slavery, and even of introducing more slaves 
into the country. A large part t")f the population was from Mrginia and 
Kentuck}-, and this element constituted a powerful party in favor of per- 
petuating some form of African slavery. At the head of the slaveholding 
interest was the governor of the territory, \\"illiani Henry Harrison. The 
governor was a \'irginian. and seemed to be sincerely of opinion that the 
prosperity of the country depended upon the establishment of slavery. 
A strong effort was made to have the provision in the ordinance of 1787 


prohibiting slavery suspended, at least for ten years. The contest before 
congress was long and earnest, l)nt the jjctition from Indiana was finally 
ilenied ]j\' that hotly. Yet the effort was still persisted in to retain in 
slavery, by some form of indenture or otherwise, those who had been 
slaves or who were the children of slave mothers. As late as the year 
1813, the act concerning taxation passed 1)\' the legislature pruxided, as 
a part of the schedule of assessments and taxatiuu, for a tax "for every 
slave or servant of color, above twelve years of age, two dollars." .Two 
cases came to the supreme court, in which the (piestions so raised were 
finalK settled against the right to hold slaves in Indiana, in the first 
of these cases. State v. Lasselle, 1 Blackf. 60, the trial court had decided 
that a colored woman, I'ollw was the property of Lasselle. The su])reme 
court, without deciding whether X'irginia. by consenting to the ordinance 
of 1787, intended to emancipate the slaves in the northwest or not, held 
that, in anv event, slavery was eiTectually abolished by the Constitution 
of 18 if). In the other case, that of Mary Clark, also a cok)red wt)man, 
decided in i I'.lackf. 122, Mary Clark had attempted to bind herself as a 
servant for a term of twenty years. She afterwards repented of her bar- 
o-ain ; but the trial court held that she must complv with her contract. 
The supreme court, however, decided that such an indenture, though 
voluntarilv made, Avas a species of slavery, and that the coutract could 
not be enforced. Thus was wiped out the last vestige of legal bondage 
in Indiana. It is true that long after these decisions, many persons con- 
tinued voluntariU to live out their lives as slaves within the limits of the 
state. Even as late as 1840, as shown by the United States census for 
that vear. there were still three slaves in Indiana, — a man and a woman 
in Rush county and a woman in Putnam county. Ihit slavery, as sanc- 
tioned bv the law, was at an end: and it came to an end. in fact, with the 
death of the last of such voluntary slaves. 


The desire on the part of many of the inhabitants to estabhsh slavery 
in the Indiana territory resulted in a proclamation by the governor call- 
ing for the election by the people of delegates to meet in convention at 
Vincennes, December 20. 1802. This convention petitioned congress for 
a suspension of the sixth article of the ordinance of 1787, which pro- 
hibited slavery in the territory. The petition, as we have seen, was re- 
jected by congress. The report of the committee to which the petition 
was referred was prepared by John Randolph, the distinguished orator 
and statesman, then senator from Mrginia, and was an unanswerable 
argument against the establishment of slavery in the territory. The Vin- 
cennes convention which prepared the petition in favor of slavery is also 
noteworthy as being the first deliberative body elected to represent the 
people of Indiana. The convention consisted of twelve delegates. From 
the county of Knox, four ; from the county of Randolph, three ; from the 
county of St. Clair, three ; and from the county of Clark, two. The 
counties of St. Clair and Randolph were in that part of the territory which 
is now the state of Illinois ; Knox and Clark were in what is now Indi- 
ana. So small was the population, in 1802, of the territory now compris- 
ing these two great states. Wayne county, now the state of Alichigan, 
does not seem to have been represented in this early convention. 

The act of Congress for the organization of the Indiana territory, 
approved May 7, 1800, provided that whenever the governor became sat- 
isfied that a majority of the freeholders of the territory were in favor 
of the organization of a general assembly, an election for that purpose 
should be called, even though there might not then be in the territory five 
thousand free male inhabitants of the age of twenty-one years ; thus pro- 
viding an earlier period than was provided in the ordinance of 1787, for 
the establishment of a representative government. By a vote of the peo- 
ple taken September 11, 1804, it appeared that a majority of one hundred 


and thirty-eight were in favor of organizing- a general assembly ; and ac- 
cordingly Governor Harrison issued his proclamation declaring that Indi- 
ana had passed into the second stage of territorial government, and called 
an election for January 3, 1805, at which members of the first house of 
representatives were chosen in the several counties. This body met at 
Vincennes, February i, 1805, and selected names for the organization of 
a legislative council, or senate, as provided in the ordinance of 1787. The 
counties then represented were Knox, Clark and Dearborn, in what is now 
Indiana; St. Clair, in Illinois; and Wayne, in Michigan. This was the 
last official connection of Michigan with the Indiana territory. Bv an 
act of congress, approved January 11, 1805, it was provided that from 
and after June 30, 1805, that part of the Indiana territory lying north 
of an east and west line drawn through "the soutlierly bend or extreme of 
Lake Michigan, until it shall intersect Lake Erie, and east of a line drawn 
from the said southerly bend" through the middle of Lake [Michigan to 
its northern extremity, and hence north to the northern boundary of 
the United States, should be erected into a separate territory, to be known 
as Michigan. It will be noticed that this left the greater part of the pres- 
ent upper peninsula of Michigan in the Indiana territory. 

The legislative council having been selected, the first general assem- 
l)ly of Indiana, embracing then the greater part of the old northwest terri- 
tory, except Ohio and Michigan, assembled at \'incennes, July 29, 1805. 
The council, or senate, consisted of five members ; and the house of repre- 
sentatives, of seven members. ]\Iichigan having become a territory, 
Wayne county was not represented. The counties having representation 
in the assemblv were Knox, Clark and Dearborn, in what is now Indiana, 
and St. Clair and Randolph in Illinois. The business of this first general 
assembly was chiefly routine. Benjamin Parke was elected the first dele- 
gate of the territory in congress. The second general assembly began its 


session at X'inccnncs. August 16, 1807. The laws passed at those two 
sessions, together with all other laws in foree in the territory, were col- 
lected and puhlished in one volume, called the code of 1807. This was 
the first Indiana code of laws. 

After the signing of the treaty of Greenville between General An- 
thony Wayne and Little Turtle and the other chiefs, August 3. 1795. it 
was belie\-ed that permanent peace had been established between the whites 
and Indians. Uut the emigration to the rich lands of the northwest grew 
to such proportions that the Indians were pressed farther and farther into 
the interior. Numerous treaties, as we have seen, were made, from time 
to time, throwing open to wdiite settlement the several reservations of 
territory made at Greenville to secure to the Indians their hunting- 
grounds. Often, too, where two or more tribes owned certain lands in 
common, as they often did, the whites secured by treat^■ the title of one 
tribe and then failed to respect the claim of the others to the same lands. 
The French had respected this community ownership of lands, and never 
denied the title of the Indians, even to the territory occupied bv them- 
selves. iMoreover. as to their own holdings, the French accepted the com- 
munity idea, which was universal. Several hundred acres were set aside 
at A'incennes, which the inhabitants of the post used in common for pas- 
ture and other uses. They "fenced in" their stock as is now the law in 
Indiana ; and the crops planted outside this community propertv In' each 
householder were without enclosure. The community idea, however, was 
antagonistic to the ideas of the emigrants from the east. Each settler 
wanted his own lands for himself exclusively, and was particularly un- 
willing that any Indian should have any part or parcel in his holding. 
r>ut. besides securing additional Indian lands by new treaties, many white 
emigrants, without any such authority, pushed in upon the lands yet re- 
served to the Indians bv the treatv of Greenville and other treaties. This 


land ^recd, as the Indians called it. was cxaspcratinq- to the natives, who 
loved their old hunting grounds; and the feeling of resentment against the 
encroachment of the whites became more acute from \ear to year. After- 
wards, when white men fell in Ijattle with tlie Indians, it was uoi uncom- 
mon for the latter to stuff earth into the mouth, nose and ears of the fallen 
pale face, as if in mockery of this greed for land. 

In a message to the legislature of Indiana, in 1806, Governor Harri- 
son referred to the growing dissatisfaction of the Indians, in this and 
other respects. The Indians, he said, "will never have recourse to arms — 
I speak of those in our immediate neighborhood — unless driven to it bv a 
series of injustice and oppression. Of this they already begin to com- 
plain ; and I am sorry to say that their complaints are far from being 
groundless. It is true that the general government has passed laws for 
fulfilling, not only the stipulations contained in our treat}-, but also those 
sublimer duties which a just sense of our prosperity and their wretched- 
ness seem to impose. The laws of the territory provide, also, the same 
punishment for ottenses committed against Indians as against white men. 
Experience, however, shows that there is a wide difference in the execu- 
tion of those laws. The Indian always suffers, and the white men never." 

In the state to which the minds of the Indians were wrought up. 
by both their real and their fancied wrongs, they needed but a leader 
to break out into hostilities against their oppressors. The leader was 
forthcoming, a greater perhaps than either Pontiac or Little Turtle. In 
1805, Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, and his brother Law-le-was-i-kaw — 
the loud voice — resided in a village on the \\'hite river in what is now Del- 
aware county. Law-le-was-i-kaw took upon himself the character of a 
prophet, and is usually known under that title. He began to preach to 
the Indians, calling upon them to reject witchcraft, the use of intoxicating 
liquors, intermarriage with the whites and the practice of selling their 


lands to the United States. He acquired great influence among the tribes, 
not only the tribes in Indiana, but those of the whole west. Prophet's 
Town was established on the banks of the Wabash river, near the mouth 
of the Tippecanoe, as a center to which all the Indians were invited to 
gather. While the prophet was arousing the religious enthusiasm of the 
Indians Tecumseh was visiting all the tribes of the west and the south, 
forming a confederacy which might be strong enough to resist further 
encroachments on the part of the white settlers. The poison of British 
influence was again manifested ; and when the war of 1812 broke out be- 
tween England and the United States, the Indians were found in full and 
active sympathy with the British. Interviews took place from time to 
time between Governor Harrison and the Shawnee chiefs, but the es- 
trangement continued to increase from year to year. In the early part of 
1811 the people of the territory became thoroughly alarmed at the grow- 
ing strength of the Indians at Prophet's Town ; and Governor Harrison. 
under direction of the president and the secretary of war. began prepara- 
tions for a military expedition against the prophet. Harrison's army 
consisting of about seven hundred efifective men, of whom two hundred 
and fifty were regular troops, arrived near Prophet's Town November 
6, 181 1. On the morning of the seventh, before daylight, the Americans 
were fiercely attacked by the Indians, and many killed. Harrison quickly 
rallied his forces and charged upon the Indians, who were completely 
routed. Harrison's loss, in killed and mortally wounded, were sixty-two, 
with one hundred and twenty-six other wounded men. The enemy's 
forces are believed to have been greater, and their losses quite as severe ; 
Init there is a lack of definite information on these points. The battle of 
Tippecanoe is the most important that ever took place within the confines 
of Indiana. The spirit of the Indians was completely broken, and the 
confederacy which Tecumseh was building up was completely destroyed. 


This great warrior was liimself absent at tlic time, xisitin^- the tribes of 
the south. It is said that he was angrv with his brother for briiifriu"- on 
the engagement. Tecuniscli was not tlien ready for liis conflict with the 
whites, and his plans were therefore frustrated. He .soon joined the l!rit- 
ish army with his Indians and was killed at the battle of the Thames, in 
Canada' not far from Detroit, October 5, 1813. He was undoubtedh- 
the greatest warrior and statesman ever produced l\v the Indian race. 

After the battle of Tippecanoe there was occasional minor trouble 
with the Tnchans ; but with the death of Tecumseh their courage and 
ambition as a united people was gone forever. The remnants of the red 
race were by degrees removed to the far west; and their place was rapidly 
taken by the hardy pioneers who poured in from the eastern states and 
from Europe. The triumph for the second time, of American arms over 
those of Great Britain, soon after followed; and the future of the great 
northwest was assured. 

Another interesting episode in early Indiana history ought to receive 
at least a passing mention. In 1805, 1806 and 1807, Aaron I'.urr. once 
vice-president of the United States, was engaged in dift'erent places along 
the Ohio valley in organizing a mysterious enterprise, now believed to 
have been intended for the founding of an independent southwestern re- 
public, to embrace Mexican and American territory. Some are of the 
opinion that Burr's ambition looked to the uniting of all the states and 
territories of the Mississippi valley, with Mexico, into one great central 
state of which he should be chief. Amongst other ]~)laces Burr visited 
Jefi'ersonville, Mncennes and Kaskaskia. He was arrested early in 1807, 
and his vast project, whatever may have been its nature, suddenly col- 

As the population of the Indiana tcrritor\- increased the need of a 
division into two territories became greater. Congress yielded to the 

Vol. 1—23 


wishes of the people in the matter, and, by an act approved February 3, 
1809, declared that from and after March i, 1809, all that part of the 
Indiana territory lying west of the Wabash river, and a direct line north 
from Post \4ncennes to the British possessions, should form a separate 
territory, to be called the Illinois territory. The population of the whole 
of the Indiana territory at that time was about twenty-eight thousand ; 
eleven thousand being in the Illinois division, and seventeen thousand in 
Indiana proper. The cutting off of the territory of Illinois left the capital 
of Indiana on the extreme west of the territory ; and an agitation soon 
developed for its removal from Mncennes to some more central point. 
By an act of the general assembly, approved March 11, 1813, the capital 
of the territory was fixed at Corydon, Harrison county, from and after 
May I, 1813. The capital remained at Corydon until it was removed to 
Indianapolis, in 1825, as provided in Sec. 1 1, article XI of the constitu- 
tion of 1816. By reason of the absence of Governor Harrison in the wars 
with the Indians and with Great Britain, the active duties of the office of 
governor devolved for the time upon the secretary, General John Gibson. 
It was by his call as governor that this last meeting of the general assem- 
bly was held at Vincennes. On February 27, 1813, President Madison 
appointed Thomas Posey, then a senator of the L'nited States from Ten- 
nessee, as governor of the new Indiana territory, then reduced very nearly 
to the territorial limits of the present state of Indiana. 

Organirjatioii of the State. 

During the thirty-one years from the close of the Revolutionary war, 
and the signing of the treaty of Paris, September 3, 1783, to the close of 
the second war with Great Britain, and the signing of the treaty of Ghent, 
December 24, 181 4, Indiana passed through the several stages of develop- 


ment, until she reached the full maturity of her growth as a common- 
wealth. The time during which she was a part of the county of Illinois, 
nursed and cared for by the mother state of Virginia, may be considered 
the period of her infancy; the time during which she was a part of the 
northwest territory, trained and guided by the national authority, and 
governed by the ordinance of 1787 and other laws adopted for her pro- 
tection, may be considered as the period of her childhood ; the time during 
which she was a part of the vast Indiana territory and entrusted with the 
forms if not the reality of self government, may be considered as the 
period of her immature youth ; the time during which she was regarded 
as a separate and distinct territory, allowed to legislate in a limited manner 
for her own particular needs, and called upon to defend her integrity 
by the shedding of her blood at Tippecanoe and in battle with the British 
oppressor, may be considered as the period of her adolescence. It was 
then recognized that the time of her full maturity was at hand, and that 
she was entitled to take her place as one of the sister states of the Union. 
On December 14, 181 5, a memorial to congress, praying for the ad- 
mission of Indiana as a state, was adopted by the general assembly of the 
territory; and, on the 28th of the same month, was laid before congress 
by Jonathan Jennings, the territorial delegate. The memorial recited the 
provision of the ordinance of 1787, that when the free population of the 
territory should be sixty thousand or over, the territory should be ad- 
mitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, and 
stating that a census taken by legislative authority showed that Indiana 
had more than the requisite population. In compliance with this request 
of the legislature, congress passed an enabling act, approved April 19. 
18 16, providing for an election to be held in the several counties of the 
territory, May 13, 1816, to select delegates to a convention to frame a 
state constitution. 


The convention consisted of forty-three members, elected from thir- 
teen counties, as follows : Wayne, 4 ; Franklin, 5 ; Dearborn, 3 ; Switzer- 
land, I ; Jefferson, 3 ; Clark, 5 ; Harrison, 5 ; Washington, 5 ; Knox, 5 ; 
Gibson. 4; Warrick, 1.: I'erry, i; and Posey, i. It will be noticed that 
these counties were almost altogether on the Ohio and Wabash rivers. 
Indiana's hrsl seUlcmcnts were along the rivers on the southern borders; 
and the settlers were almost all from the states and territories south and 
southeast of the Ohio. The population of the thirteen counties sending 
delegates to the constitutional convention of 1816 was sixty-three thou- 
sand, eight hundred and ninety-seven. Two additional counties. Orange 
and Jackson, also in the extreme south, were organized in 1816. under 
authoritv of the territorial legislature ; but not in time to send delegates 
to the constitutional convention. 

The convention began its deliberations at Corydon, on June 10, 1816, 
and completed the framing of the constitution on June 29, 1816. Jonathan 
Jennings presided over the convention, and William Hendricks was chosen 
secretary. On the completion of their work, President Jennings, as re- 
quired by the constitution issued to the sheriffs of the several counties 
writs of election, fixing the first Monday of August, 1816, for the election 
of a governor and other state officers. Jonathan Jennings was elected 
first governor, receiving, 5,211 votes, to 3,934 cast for Thomas Posey, then 
governor of the territory. William Hendricks was elected first represen- 
tative of Indiana in the house of representatives of the United States. 

The first general assembly, chosen at the same election, began its 
session at Corydon on Monday, November 4, 1816. Christopher Harrison, 
elected lieutenant governor, presided over the senate ; and Isaac Black- 
ford, the famous jurist, was elected speaker of the house of representa- 
tives. The governor and lieutenant governor were inaugurated November 
7. 18 16; John Paul having been previously chosen president pro tempore 


of the senate. Thereupon the territorial government came to a close. i>y 
a joint resolution of congress, approved Deceniljcr 1 1, iSi^), Indiana was 
formally admitted as a sovereign state of the Union. ( )n .Vovemher 8, 
1816, the general assembly elected James Noble and Waller Taylor a.s the 
first senators to represent the state in the I'nited States senate. The ses- 
sion closed on January 3, 1817. 

The po]:)ulation of Indiana when admitted into llie Union, in iSiC), 
was less than seventy thousand; Init such an im])etus was given to emi- 
gration b}' the organization of the state government that the census of 
1820 showed that the state then contained 147,178 inhabitants. The rev- 
enues of the state continued for many years t(j be derived from a tax upon 
lands, as had been the practice during the territorial government. This 
tax was not. as at present, a percentage of the valuation, l)ut a fixed sum 
per hundred acres according to the quality of the land. b\)r this purpose, 
all lands were deemed to be of first rate, second rate and third rate. In 
the beginning, first rate lands were assessed at one dollar per hundred 
acres; second rate, eighty-seven and a half cents; and third rate fifty to 
sixty-two and a half cents. In 1821, the assessment on first rate lands 
had increased to one dollar and fifty cents on each hundred acres, and on 
other lands accordingly. In 183 1, the assessment on first rate lands fell 
to eighty cents a hundred;- second rate, to sixty cents; and third rate, to 
forty cents. By an act approved February 7. 1835. the method of a->scss- 
ment was changed to our present advalorem system : and the assessor was 
directed to assess land for taxation at its true value, or. as the act ex- 
pressed it. "as he would appraise the .same in the payment of a just debt 
due from a solvent debtor." County revenues were raised principally 
from poll taxes and license fees, until the adoption of the ad valorem sys- 

The boundaries of the .state of Indiana, as fixed by the enal)ling act 


of congress, approved April 19, 1816, and as agreed to by an ordinance 
passed by the constitutional convention, at Corydon, June 29, 1816, are as 
follows: On the east, "the meridian line which forms the western bound- 
ary of the state of Ohio" ; on the south, "the river Ohio, from the mouth 
of the great ]\lianii river to the mouth of the river Wabash" ; on the west, 
"a line drawn along the middle of the Wabash, from its mouth to a point 
where a due north line drawn from the town of Vincennes would last 
touch the northwestern shore of the said river ; and from thence, by a 
due north line, until the same shall intersect an east and west line drawn 
through a point ten miles north of the southern extreme of Lake ]\Iichi- 
gan"; and on the north, "the said east and west line, until the same shall 
intersect the first mentioned meridian line, which forms the western 
boundary of the state of Ohio." It was provided in the enabling act of 
congress that if the constitutional convention of Indiana should fail to 
ratify these boundaries, then the boundaries of the state should be as 
fixed in the ordinance of 1787. 

It would seem that the boundaries as fixed by the enabling act of 
congress, and as agreed to by the constitutional convention of the state, 
were so definite that no dispute could arise concerning them ; yet each of 
the boundaries, except that between Indiana and Illinois, has been the 
subject of contention. The western boundary is exactly that fixed in the 
ordinance of 1787; and also that fixed by the act of congress, approved 
February 3, 1809, setting off the territory of Illinois from that of Indiana ; 
except that the ordinance of 1787 fixes simply the "Wabash river," from 
its mouth to \"incennes, as part of the boundary ; and the act setting off Illi- 
nois territory defines that territory to be "all that part of the Indiana terri- 
tory which lies west of the Wabash river," and the direct line north from 
Vincennes. The wording of the ordinance of 1787. "the Wabash river," 
would doubtless be interpreted to mean the middle line of that river; 


and the line is so defined in the enabhng act providing for the achnis- 
sion of Indiana as a state. In the act setting oiT the territory of Ilhnois, 
however, it might be contended that as lUinois "Hes west of the Wabash 
river," the boundary must l)e the west margin of that river. No such con- 
tention has ever l^een made by the state of Inchana. ^'et such a couchision 
has been reached as to the southern boundary of the state. The enabhng 
act provided, as we have seen, that the state should be bounded on the 
south "by the river Ohio" ; and this would seem to mean the middle line of 
the river. The ordinance of 1787 also provided that "the middle state," 
that is, Indiana, should be bounded on the south "by the Ohio." The plain 
interpretation here also would seem to be that the middle line, or thread of 
the stream, should form the southern boundary of the state. But the 
words have not been so interpreted. In the act of cession by the legisla- 
ture of Virginia, passed December 20, 1783, and in the deed of cession, 
made March i, 1784, the territory ceded to the United States is described 
as "being to the northwest of the river Ohio." The territory on both sides 
of the Ohio, and the river itself, were at the time a part of A'irginia ; and 
the contention was early made by Kentucky, as succeeding to the rights of 
Virginia, that no part of the river was included in the northwest territor\-. 
and consequently that no part of it could pass by the deed of cession. The 
ordinance of 1787 itself was "for the government of the territory of the 
United States northwest of the river Ohio." The claim of Kentucky has 
been sustained by the courts ; and the southern boundary of Indiana is 
the low water mark on the northwest bank of the Ohio river, as the same 
existed when the boundary was fixed. As the river has since receded to 
the south in some places, we have the anomaly that parts of the state of 
Kentucky are at present located on the Indiana side of the river. 

The rights of Indiana, however, as to the use and navigation of the 
Ohio, and also as to civil and criminal jurisdiction on the river, have been 


made secure. By section seven of an act concerning the erection of tlie 
district of Kcntuck}- into an independent state, passed by the common- 
wealth of X'irginia. December. iS, 1789, it was provided, "that the use 
and navigation of the river Ohio, so far as tlic territory of the proposed 
state of [Kentucky I . or the territory which shall remain within the limits 
of this commonwealth lies therein, shall be free and common to the citi- 
zens of the United States; and the respective jurisdictions of this com- 
monwealth, and of the proposed state, on the river as aforesaid, shall be 
concurrent only with the states which may possess the opposite shores of 
the said river."" The framers of the constitution of 181 6 seemed satisfied 
simply to declare the boundaries of the state ; but the framers of the con- 
stitution of 1 85 1, while repeating this declaration, took pains to add, in 
accordance with the act of the commonwealth of Virginia, that "the state 
of Indiana shall possess jurisdiction and sovereignty co-extensive with 
the boundaries declared in the preceding section : and shall have concur- 
rent jurisdiction, in civil and criminal cases, with the state of Kentucky, 
on the Ohio river, and with the state of Illinois, on the Wabash river. 
so far as said rivers form the common boundarv between this state and 
said states respectively." 

The enabling act defines the eastern Ijoundary of Intliana to be "the 
meridian line which forms the western toundary of the state of Ohio."' 
The ordinance of 1787 provided that "the eastern state,'" that is, Ohio, 
should l)e Iwunded on the west by "a direct line drawn due north from the 
mouth of the Great ^Nliami"' to the British possessions. In the enabling 
act of congress for the admission of Ohio, approved April 30, 1802, the 
same western boundary was fixed for that state. Ikit in the act approved 
j\Iay 7, 1800, separating Indiana from the north w-estern territory, the east- 
ern boundary of Indiana, as we have already seen, was declared to be 
"the line beginning at the Ohio, opposite to the mouth of Kentucky river. 


and running thence to Fort Recovery, and thence north, until it shall in- 
tersect the territorial line between the United States and Canada." Yet, 
in the same act, it was also provided, "That whenever that part of the 
territorv of the United States which lies to the eastward of a line be^in- 
ning at the mouth of the Great Miami river, running- thence due north to 
the territorial line between the United States and Canada, shall be erected 
into an independent state, and admitted into the Union on an ecjual foot- 
ing with the original states, thenceforth said line shall become and remain 
permanently the boundar\' line between such state and the Indiana terri- 
tory; anything in this act contained to the contrary notwithstanding." 
As Ohio was admitted with the Great Miami meridian as her western 
boundary, it would seem that she could have no claim to this irregular line 
by way of F"ort Recovery ; and, indeed, such imaginary claim, as a practical 
question, has long since been relinquished. Indiana has never stood out 
for the three mile strip west of Fort Recovery, now a part of the state of 
Ohio ; and Ohio has abandoned any fancied claim to the wedge-shaped 
territory south of Fort Recovery, now a part of the state of Indiana. 
The old Indian boundary line, described in the treaty of (h-cen\'ille. and 
extending southwesterly from Fort Recovery to a point on the ( )hi(^ oppo- 
site the mouth of the Kentucky river, is, however, yet found on many 
Indiana maps, as a historic reminder of the contention once entertained 
between the two states. 

But it was as to the northern boundary of the state that there was 
chief contention. The ordinance of 1787. after providing for the bound- 
aries of the minimum number of three states into which the northwest 
territory should be divided, provided further that, if deemed expedient, 
congress should have authority "to form one or two states in that part 
of said territory which lies north of an east and west line drawn through 
the southerlv bend or extreme of Lake ]\Iichigan." The enabling act, 


lidwever, provided thai the northern boundary of Indiana should be "an 
east and west line drawn through a point ten miles north of the south- 
ern extreme of Lake Michigan." The state of Indiana, therefore, ex- 
tends ten miles north of the line provided in the ordinance of 1787 as 
the boundary between Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, on the south, and ]\Iichi- 
gan and AMsconsin on the north. This east and west line through the 
southern bend of Lake Alichigan is sometimes called the ordinance 
boundary line and sometimes the old Alichigan or Indiana boundary line. 
The people of ^Michigan contended earnestly for the ordinance 
boundary line, claiming that any other boundary would be illegal and un- 
constitutional, for the reason that the provisions of the ordinance of 1787 
in this regard were irrevocable, as defining the boundaries of the five 
states to be created out of the northwest territory. It appears that when 
the ordinance of 1787 was passed the true latitude of the southern ex- 
tremes of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie was not known. At any rate, 
the people of Ohio at that time seem to have been of the opinion that an 
east and west line through the southern bend of Lake ^Michigan would 
strike Lake Erie north of Maumee bay. As if to force such an interpre- 
tation of the ordinance, a line was actually surveyed from the southerly 
bend of Lake Michigan to the northerly cape of Maumee bay. The order 
for this survey was made by act of congress; and the intention of con- 
gress was to mark the old ordinance boundary. The survev was. how- 
ever, made under direction of the Ohio surveyor general, and he had 
the survey made according to the views of the Ohio authorities. This 
line is called the Ohio line, and also the "Harris line," from the name of 
the surveyor. In the final settlement of the dispute, Ohio succeeded in 
making, or retaining, the Harris line as the northern boundary of that 
state. .Michigan was reluctantly persuaded to receive in exchange for the 
territory taken from her the upper peninsula of that state ; and a most 


valuable exchange it has turned out to be. The Harris line was never 
accepted as the northern boundary of Indiana; neither did this state ac- 
cept the ordinance boundary, but took an independent, or perhaps, we 
might say, an arbitrary, position, insisting upon a ten mile strip north of 
the ordinance line, and giving as a reason for such insistence that other- 
wise she would be cut off from the navigation of Lake Michigan and the 
either great lakes. The Harris, or Ohio, line w<iuld not satisfy Indiana 
any better than the ordinance line ; for both would prevent her from having 
a harbor on the great lakes. Michigan did not at first make a very strong 
contention against Indiana's claim. There were then no settlements in 
northern Indiana or southwestern Michigan ; whereas the territory in dis- 
pute between Ohio and Michigan included the town of Toledo and a 
rapidly growing district in the vicinity. The northern boundary of Indi- 
ana is an east and west line, but the northern boundary of Ohio, the Har- 
ris line, runs a little north of east, beginning on the east line of Indiana, 
at a point about four miles and a half south of the northern boundary of 
Indiana and running east by north to include the city of Toledo and 
Maumee bay. Neither did the ordinance line mark the boundary between 
Illinois and \\'iscon-sin. Had it done so, Chicago would have been in 
Wisconsin, as it was at one time supposed to be. The northern boundary 
provided for in the ordinance of 1787, "an east and west line drawn 
through the southerly bend or extreme of Lake ^Michigan," has therefore 
been wholly obliterated. 

The name of our state, ''Indiana," does not appear in our history 
until the passage of the act of congress, approved -May 7. 1800, providing 
that all the northwest territory, w^est of a line through Fort Recovery. 
should "constitute a separate territory, and be called Indiana Territory."' 
The name thus given is very dear to the people of this state, not only 
from the beautv of the word itself, but even more from its association 


with our history, as a territory and as a state, now for over a hundred 
years. Indiana territory included at first not only the territory now form- 
ing our state, but also a part of that of Ohio and Michigan, all of Illinois 
and Wisconsin, and even part of Minnesota. As the successive territories 
were set otT. however, and the territories themselves were erected into 
states, the beloved name remained with us. Other names were found for 
our sister commonwealths : Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and 
Minnesota ; all indeed beautiful, with their melodious French and Indian 
suggestions, but none of them comparable to our own Indiana. 

There has been comparatively little discussion as to the origin of the 
name. It would seem indeed that the origin should be evident. When 
the territorial government was set up in the year 1800. the countrv was 
almost wholly occupied by the Indians. So far as occupancy was con- 
cerned, it was the Indian land. In ancient and modern times, in Europe 
as well as America, the suffix a, when added to a word, has been under- 
stood to mean land, country or place. Greece was known as Grecia ; 
Italy, as Italia ; Germany, as Germania. So we have Russia, Prussia, 
Austria, Australia, Pennsylvania, Mrginia, Louisiana and manv others. 
Indiana means nothing therefore but Indian land or Indian countr\-. 

It appears, however, that our state was not the first to bear the pleas- 
ant sounding name. In an interesting paper read before the W'avne 
County Historical Society. Mr. Cyrus W. Hodgin tells the storv of an 
older Indiana. 

At the close of the French and Indian war, in 1763, says Mr. Hod- 
gin, a Philadelphia trading company was formed to engage in the fur 
trade on the Ohio. The company sent its agents into the Ohio vallev with 
large quantities of goods to exchange for furs and other products which 
the Indians were accustomed to bring to the trading posts. In the fall 
of that year, certain bands of Indians who were tributary to the Iroquois 

HlSTum' Uh' SL'LL1\'AX COL'XTV 365 

confederacy attacked the agents of tlie Pliiladelphia company at a ]xjint 
a little below the site of the ])resent city of Wheeling, and seized npon 
the goods of the ctjmpaiiy, which ihey ajjproijriated to their own nse. in 
compensation for this loss, the lrof|uois transferred to the com])anv a 
tract of nearly five thousand s(|uare miles of land l}ing south of the Ohio 
and east of the Great Kanawha — a tract e(|ual in extent to the state of 
Connecticut. To this princely domain the company gave the name of 
Indiana — Indian land. In \yj() the tract was convened to a new com- 
pany, known as the Indiana Land Company. X'irginia. however, refused 
to acknowledge the Indian title held by the company. A resort to the 
courts was equally tmavailing. The eleventh amendment to the constitu- 
tion of the United States, denying to citizens of one state the right to 
bring any action or suit against another sovereign state of the Union, was 
declared adopted, by proclamation of the president, issued Januar\- 8, 
1798; and so the long c<3ntested case was stricken from the docket of the 
supreme court of the United States. The Indiana Land Compan_\- having 
lost its claim, the company itself passed out of existence ; and the name 
■"Indiana" was but a memor}-. until, in 1800. it was bestowed upon this 
commonwealth, now the great central state of the Union. It is not at all 
probable that the naming of our state had any connection with the name "of 
the eastern Indiana. Accidentally the name is the same ; but in each case, 
undoubtedly, the name given had direct reference to the Indians who occu- 
pied the country. 

The publishers, in acknowledging their indebtedness to the editor, 
Thomas J. Wolfe, whose knowledge of persons and of facts and incidents 
in the county's history for nearly seventy years, and whose unabating 
interest in every department of this undertaking insure to the public the 
faithfulness of the endeavor and the value of this work as a history of the 
county, take this opportunity, in the closing pages of the volume, to 
publish the following, reminiscent and historical sketch of his long and 
interesting life. 

On the 25th day of January, 1832, in the little town of Alerom on the 
banks of the Wabash, Dr. Elliott announced to a small coterie of old 
ladies, in waiting, that a son had been born to Benjamin and Isabella 
(Shepherd) Wolfe. This bit of news in a town where everybody knew 
everybody's business created no surprise as it was not unexpected. 

A little later a family convention was called, and grandmothers, 
uncles and aunts were there, and to distinguish this particular child from 
all those bearing the same patronymic they decided to call him Thomas 
Jefferson. There was, no doubt, partiality shown in this ; as the delegates 
were all Mrginians, by blood or marriage, they desired to thrust addi- 
tional honors on their state and its citizens, but it was all done without 
the consent or connivance of the parties in interest. 

The boy took the prescribed course for boys of his age — hives, 
stomach-ache, whooping cough, measles and mumps. \\'hen about six 
years old he entered the high school (it was on top of the bluff just west 




jg^x^/fe^- tM<Sj/kfj,a^^J(P 


of Uncle Jimmy Reed's store) and kept his little "footies" dangling be- 
tween the floor and ceiling, his legs not yet having come up to the standard 
prescribed by Lincoln that they should be long enough to reach the floor. 
He was often reprimanded b}' the master for whispering and talking, and 
was punished (?) by being compelled to sit between two girls. This 
punishment failed as Tommy was often caught trying to talk to both 
girls at once, and another diagnosis was had and the treatment changed. 

His mind developed so rapidly that his' father became alarmed and 
apprenticed him to his grandmother on Shaker prairie to learn the science 
and art of farming. He did not know "gee" from "haw," and in order 
to know on which side to hitch Jack he hacked the swinglctrcc, but while 
the boy was gone to dinner the hands turned the doubletree over, and 
that afternoon the starboard horse worked on the larboard side, but 
neither the boy nor Jack knew the difference, and tlic joke failed. After 
the crop was laid by the boy returned home to nurse a stonebruise and 
Jack went to grass. 

He continued to play school and work at mumble-peg. marbles, tops 
and kites, and frequently to help girls dress their dolls and. occasionally, 
his mother wash dishes and paddle the clothes on the old wa>h bench. 
After about two years his father made known his decision to move to his 
farm on Shaker prairie. The boy remonstrated that it would be lonesome 
and that the wild animals and Indians might get him as he came home 
in the dark. But the father argued that outdoor life was good for boys 

that walking was healthful when you had hold of i)low handles with 

two big oxen to help you along, that the soil compared favorably with 
that along the Nile, and that corn grew as it did in Rgypt, that his ex- 
chequer needed replenishing, that his finances had not increased as fast 
as his family, that we were on the eve of great prosperity that corn liad 
already advanced 25 per cent and was now worth T2Vj cents f. o. b. flat- 


boat at "'Rankin cribs," and was Hkely to go bigher — wbeat wortb 2iiy2 
cents, pork wortb $1.50 per cwt. and mast plenty, — and as be closed bis 
argument be gave a significant glance toward tbe smokebouse (we bad 
no woodsbeds in tbose days). And Tommy saw tbe force of tbe argu- 
ment antl fearing a more striking one, said, "Pap, I agree witb you. I 
bave been tbinking for some time we ougbt to go to tbe farm.'" 

Witb tbe fatber to decide was to act. In a sbort time wagons were 
loaded and tbe overland trip of fifteen luiles was made witbout a stop. 
Arrivin"- at tbe destination, tlie future residence was found to consist of 
one room — were tbis fiction instead of a "so-tale" we should bave said 
small room, but trutb compels us to say tbe room was more tban twenty 
feet long and about eigbteen feet wide, boarded witbout and ceiled witbin. 
Still it was a problem to condense tbe contents of a tbree-room bouse into 
one room, and leave space for nine bead of men, women and cbildren, tbe 
answer to wdiicb could not be found in Smiley 's or Pike's aritbmetic. 
Tbe motber, bowever, altbougb deficient in figures, was a woman of 
resources, and by bedtime bad made two rooms out of one by a partition 
of bed-clotbing bung from tbe ceilmg to tbe fioor. Tbe rear room con- 
tained tbree beds and two trundle beds, and tbe front room two tempo- 
rarv beds on tbe fioor. wbicb bad to be removed to get room to cook at 
tbe fire-place and to spread tbe table. 

Wben tbe crop was started, tbe fatber. motber and oldest boy went 
to X'incennes, and among otber tilings bougbt a cook-stove. The dealer, 
Xick Smith, explained that these stoves economized space, split woman's 
work in two, and would save half tbe fuel. The fatber said be thought 
they were a little high ($50.00), but he guessed they would take two, as 
they were scarce of room, his wife was overw'orked. and the boys did not 
like to cut wood. Siuitb laughed. 

Tbe stove was installed the next dav. and being the first in tbe 


neighborhood, was more than a seven days' wonder., It was a "step-stove," 
or double-decker, and much contention arose as to where to build the 
fire. The Dutch, accusitnned to bake ovens, insisted on making it in 
the second stor}-, and wlicn hot, withdrawing the fire aufl ])utting in the 
dough. Directions were consulted, and one woman, to the surprise of all 
the rest, said she "had saw a cook-stove with fire in it at X'incennes," 
and she took the side of the fire-box and settled the dispute. 

The family continued to reside in the one-room house until alter the 
crop was laid by, when improvements were made by moving a one-room 
log structure to within ten feet of the one occupied, and covering the 
house and open space with boards, which gave the family two rooms, an 
airy hall, and a bedroom in the loft reached by a ladder. For about five 
years this contiiuied to be the family residence, and Thomas Jefiferson had 
grown in stature and importance in proportion to the house, and still held 
his position as oldest boy of the family. 

The father was much away from home, running for representative 
in the stimmer and fall, serving in the legislature in the winter, and flat- 
boating his crops in the spring. In the meantime he superintended the 
building of a large residence on the farm, and Tom, who had outgrown 
his pet name Tommy, hauled the brick for the chimneys and foundation, 
with two yoke of oxen, from Ochiltree's, a few miles nordi of Vincennes 
— the hewed timbers from the woods, and the sawed lumber from Turtle 
creek, near New Lebanon. The house was considered one of the finest in 
the countv, and required about two years in building, as everything was 
done by hand. 

The family, to which three more boys had been added since the last 

enumeration, moved into the new house in 1846. and continued the routine 

of farm life, farming in summer and attending two or three months of 

school in winter, until Tom was about twenty. Flis chief amusements 

Vol. I — 24 


consisted of fishing" and coon-hunting", and his outings were going to 
■"niin and [v nieetin'," and selHng sweet cider and gingerbread at the 
August elections. 

About this time, his father, who had spent about two years in Miami 
University antl had learned that "a little learning is a dangerous thing," 
divulged a long-cherished design of giving his children "a better bringing 
up than he or his had had." The father's intention was to send them to 
college in succession, beginning with Tom. The matter was discussed in 
the family during the winter, and Jake, younger liy two years but about 
as large, insisted on going too, and maintained that he was equal to Toni 
in everything" except age, which was no fault of his. that they had always 
been chums and trundle-bed fellows — and he prevailed. Then the mother 
put in a plea for Ann, a sister still two years younger — that the children 
had always been together, that no distinction should be made on account 
of sex, that Ann had been taught to look after the washing and sew on 
buttons and tie up sore fingers and toes, and that she ought to be per- 
mitted to go along to care for the boys — and on a final vote it was so 

There were busy times in the preparation. The decision had been 
made in favor of the State University, where each county was entitled to 
two students free of tuition, and on application, Tom and Jake had been 
appointed delegates by the county commissioners. The next question to 
be settled was how to get there, and this was decided in favor of the farm 
wagon, as no railroad had as yet been built to Blooniington. Tom was 
appointed chairman of the committee of ways and means, and directed to 
equip the wagon properly for the journey. Packing was a small matter, 
as one small trunk, covered with horse-hide with the hair on, and pro- 
fusely studded with large-headed brass tacks, was sufficient for three 
wardrobes, and the only additional receptacle was the sister's band box. 


These, and a I30X of tallow candles which the niotlK-r molded, and a few 
other accessories snch as a mother onl}- could think of, made the cart^o. 

On the hrst da} of Ma_\'. 1851, the start was made (ner the trail 
taken hy the father over twenty-five years hefore, on his trip to Oxford 
for a similar purpose. The country was sparsely settled, water scarce, 
and it was difficult to g-et entertainment for the niy-ht. The time tahle 
has heen made so that hy an afternoon's travel and an carl\- start the 
next da}' the Athens of Indians could he reachetl after onl\- one ni^ht en 
route. But owin^;- to had roads and hills, such as the hoys said they had 
not seen since they left ]\Ierom bluft's. night came on ahout seven miles 
west of Bloomington, and they were directed to seek lodging for the 
night at Dudley C. Smith's. 

ArriviuQ- at the old farm-house b\- the roadside, the\- received a 
hearty welcome. The family, at home, consisted of father, mother, two 
sons and four daughters. The old gentleman was a native of X'ermunt 
and his wife of Kentucky. Being reared a strict Episcopalian, the father 
read a Psalm and pra}ed — prayed for the family and the "strangers within 
their gates." The second daughter, scarcely fifteen, wearing short 
dresses, verv timid and bashful, was the one that most attracted Tom s 
attention, and who was to , but we anticipate. Early the next morn- 
ing the journey was resumed. At Bloomington the boys were introduced 
to several of the noted men in the public life of Indiana of that time, 
besides the president and members of the faculty. Board and furni>hcd 
room were procured for the boys, on Main street (College avenue), at 
$1.50 per week each (they to furnish their own candles), and Ann was 
placed in ]\Irs. AlcPherson's Academy. 

This continued for about two years, the children being taken home 
each vacation to see mother and clear up some bottom land. After this 
the father leased the farm and moved the family to Bloomington us a 


nialtcr of economy and lo give all of the children better opportunities. 
The daily grind of college life for four years. Tom, Tommy and Thos., 
by a process of evolution and a precedent of the university, was changed 
to Wolfe, Thos. J. To him the brightest oases in the desert of college 
life were the visits made to the old farm house by the roadside where 
resided the second daughter, but the time had not yet come for a declara- 
tion of serious intentions. The trips became more frequent but the dis- 
tance was shorter, as she had been transferred to Airs. AlcPherson's 
Academy. The girl had grown in stature, but paradoxical as it may seem, 
her skirts came nearer to the floor. 

The course of study selected by Wolfe, Thos. J., was the regular 
classical course of universities in that day, and stimulated by visions of 
the future he received his degree of A. B. in 1856. After a short outing 
he entered the law department, and taking the prescribed course was 
graduated B. L. in 1858, and on the 3rd day of August, 1859, ^^'^^ married 
at the old farmhouse by the wayside, to Lucia R. Smith, second daughter 

of Dudley C. and Isabella (Porch) Smith. A short time after this they 
moved to the old home in Sullivan county, and owing to the unsettled con- 
dition of the country he engaged in farming and merchandising. 

To this happy union three children were born, and each died in 
succession during infancv. On a small marble monument in the old 
"Shepherd graveyard" the name "Wolfe" is carved on the base and on the 
shaft are the names, "Effie, September 8, i860 — October 2, 1862. Bertie, 
November 17, 1864 — August 7, 1866. Pearl, Alay 7, 1868 — Alarch 14, 
1870," — and except for this brief record nothing remains of their short 
lives but a "fond memory." 

After the death of Pearl the parents moved to Sullivan and the father 
resumed the practice of law which he had temporarily left ofif. In the 
quiet of Sunday morning, Alay 26, 1907, the wife and mother, who had 


been an inspiration to him and a partner in all joys and sorrows, after a 
brief illness of fours days, folded her weary hands and "closed her eyes to 
slumber awhile." She had almost reached her three-score years and ten 
and her golden wedding, of married life, but ''God called her in and shut 
the door." 

]\Ir. Wolfe still keeps an office and attends to such business as comes 
to him. He is now nearly seventy-eight and retains use of his mental 
and physical faculties to an unusual degree — indulges an optimistic spirit 
and believes the world is growing better and that every man "reaps what 
he sows" and gets about what is coming to him. He attributes his present 
activity to outdoor life, much walking, moderate eating, regular habits, 
freedom from worry and the acceptance of the advice which Cromwell 
refused "Throw away ambition." His life, measured by the common 
standard — dollars and cents, would rate low on \\'all street or in Dim ; 
but by the standard of "quid pro quo" it might come up to the average. 


Abolition L'npopular, 92. 

Academy of Science, 312. 

Agricultnral Organizations, 318. 

Akin, Charles T., 277. 

Alcin, E. W., 277. 

Akin Family, ^;^. 

Akin. Joseph T., 2/y. 

Akin, Ransom W., t,^. 

Allan, James L., 34. 

Allen, A. P., 129, 133. 

Allen, Charles R., 121. 

Allen, James C, 165, 228, 238. 

Alsop, Joshua, 34. 

Anti-Saloon League, 297, 302. 

Anti-Saloon Movement, 295. 

Arnett Family, 35. 

Ascension Seminary, 132, 179, 207. 

Associate Judges, 223. 

Auditors. County, 331. 

Aydelotte. h^-ank, 135. 

Bailey, John, 35. 

Bailey, Len, 79. 

Banks, 36, 208, 211, 216, 267. 

Baptist Churches, 291. 

Bar, Sullivan County, 224. (See 

Bench and Bar.) 
Barnard. H. J., zyj. 
Barnard, tlenr}-, 36. 
Basler, Ferdinand, 36. 
Battles in Civil War, no. 
"Baxter Bill," 297, 299. 
Beard, William. 167. 
Beard, William E., 36. 
Beasley, Joshua, 277. 
Bedwell Family, 36. 
Bench and Bar. 39, 165, 220. 
Benefield, Willis, 37, 79, 116. 
Bennett, Thomas, 81. 

Bennett's Mill, 194. 

Bensinger, Adam F., ^j. 

i'.ethel Church. 208. 

ihckncll. ( ieorge, 125. 

Ihcknell, Jesse, 38. 

Blackburn, William, 38. 

J Wand. Richard A., 41. 

Bledsoe, William, 38. 

niock Houses in Sullivan County, 

1 1. 
Blue, P. 11.. 155. 
I looker, Jacob, 39. 
Hoon. George, 39. 
Booth, Jane, 178. 
Booth, Leroy, 129. 
Boundaries of County, 28. 
liowen. Tavner, 40. 
15o\vver. Eli. 232. 
B. P'. O. E., 307. 
Branson, Michael, 88. 
IJrewer Family, 41. 
B)re\ver, James. 40. 
Brewer, William. 40. 
Bridges. 145. 
I'ridwell. John. 165. 
15rigg.s, Benjamin, 230. 
Briggs, John C, 191, 230. 
Briggs, Joseph W., 84. 230. 
]»riggs. ^Murray. 86. 132, 239, 297. 
Brodie. Sanmel. 163. 
Brown. Lsaac M., 243. 
Brown. X. H., 214. 
I'runker. William A.. 38. 
Ihichanan, Mason F., 164. 
Buell, 214. 

Buff. George W.. 228. 
Building and Loan As.sociations, 

278. ^ 
liurnett Family, 42. 




Burnett, Robert, 212. 
Burnett, William, 285. 
Burton, Stephen G., 42. 
Busseron Bottom Roads, 143. 
Busseron Creek, 11, 20. 
Busseron Creek Flat-Boating, 141. 
"Busseron Settlement," 11, 15. 
Busseron, Town of, 23, 30. 
Busseron Township, 11, 13, 15. 

Caffee, licnnctt, 45. 

Cain, William H., 133, 134. 

Caledonia, 141. 

Calvert Family, 44. 

Camp ^leetings, 285. 

Campbell, Thomas M., 44. 

Canadian Land Warrants, 24. 

Canary, Christian, 42. 

Carhsle, 28, 297, 318, 320; as 
County Seat, 30, 31 ; Banks, 2'j'j ; 
Business in 1845, 238; Citizens 
in 1856, 201 ; Coal Alining at, 
204; First Sale of Lots, 198; 
History of, 198; Incorporation 
of, 200; in County Seat Contest, 
22 ; Masonry, 304 ; ]\Iethodist 
Church, 281, 284; Odd Fellows, 
305 ; Presbyterian Church, 287 ; 
Residents of in 1821, 225; 
Schools, 202 ; Scholars in 1857, 
203; Streets, 199; Town, 10. 

Carlisle and the E. & T. H. R. R., 

Carlisle Central School, 126. 

Carlisle Forts and Block Houses, 

Carlisle Alethodist Circuit, 281. 

Carlisle News, 244. 

Carlisle Register, 244. 

Carnegie Library, 310. 

Carrithers, George, 44. 

Cartwright, Peter, 280. 

Case, Daniel, 103. 

Cass Township, 25, 103, 104. 

Cass Township and Civil \\'ar, 90. 

Cass \'illag.e, 214; Churches, 215. 
Catholic Churches, 293. 
Catlin, William, 192. 
Catlin, William E., 45. 
Cemetery, Sullivan, 189. 
Center Ridge Cemetery, 189. 
Centralized Schools, 125. 
Chaney, D. C, 243. 
Chaney, John C, 227. 
"Charter Citizens"' of Sullivan, 167. 
Chautauqua, ^Nlerom, 197. 
Christian Churches, 35, 289. 
Churches, 280; (see also under 

names of towns and villages). 
Church Organizations, 280. 
Church Statistics, 294. 
Cincinnati & St. Louis Straight 

Line R. R., 151, 
Circuit Courts, 29, 222. 
Civil Lists, 328. 
Civil War, Two Issues in, 99. 
Civil War Privations, 97. 
Civil War and Sullivan County, 85. 
Clark, George Rogers, 4. 
Clerks, County, 332. 
Click, Joseph. 45. 
Clothing, Pioneer, 81. 
Coal Development, Pioneer in, 64. 
Coal Industry, 245 ; Notes, 250. 
Coal Alines at Hymera, 209. 
Coal Aline in 1816, 246. 
Coal Alining, 204, 205, 214, 215. 
Coal Alining in 1816, 21. 
Coal Alining Companies of County, 

Coal Alining Consolidations, 262. 
Coal Alining Statistics, 249. 
Coal Railroads, 159. 
Coal Strike of 1906, 261. 
Cofifman, S. S., 236. 
Collins Family, 36. 
Collins, Joel, 284. 
Collins, Aladison, 16. 284. 
Colonnade Theatre, 184. 
Colored Schools, 124. 



Combs, William, 46. 
Common Pleas Court, 221. 
Communication, 137. 
Conference, Male and Female 

Academy, 130. 
Congressional Township School 

Fund, 119. 
Consolidation of Schools, 125. 
Cooking Utensils, Pioneer, 82. 
Corn Trade, Pioneer, 140. 
Coroners, County, 333. 
Cotton Raising in War Times, 98. 
Coulson, Sewell, 108, 226. 
Coulson, Uriah, 243. 
County Commissioners, 329. 
County Institutions, 217. 
County Seat Commissioners, 29. 
County Seat Contests, 22. 
County Seat Townsites, 22. 
County Seat at Merom, 193. 
County Seminary, 128, 178. 
County Superintendent of Schools, 

Court House, 217; First, 28. 
Court House Square, 164, 191. 
Court Sessions Under Beech Tree, 


Courts, The First Indiana, 340. 
Craig, O. J., 179. 
Crawford, Noah, 252. 
Crawford, William T., 132. 
Crawley Family, 276. 
Creager Family, 46. 
Creager, William, 46. 
"Crittenden Compromise," 86, 
Crowder Family, 276. 
Crowder, Robert, 233, 236. 
Crowder, William H., 94. 
Crowder, William H., Sr., 276. 
Crowder, William M., 165. 
Crusade Alovement, 296. 
Cummins, James, 207. 
Cunningham, Joseph, 45. 
Curry Family, 43. 
Curry, John, 15. 

Curry, John F., 43, 202. 
Curry Townsliip, 26. 
Curry, William, 43. 
Currysville Coal Company, 251. 
Cushman, Dr., 233. 
Cushman, Seth, 90, 195. 

Davidson l-'amily, 37. 

Davis, C. L., 2']']. 

Davis House, 180. 

Davis, John, 50. 

Davis. John S., 202. 

Davis, John W., 46, 304. 

Democrat, The, 181, 239. 

"Democratic Basket Meeting." 93. 

DePauw, James, 49. 

Desertion in Civil War, 104. 

Distillery, First in County, 31. 

Ditching and Levees, 314. 

Dodd, John Y., 49. 

Dodds, William F., 50. 

"Donations," 8. 

Dooley, Henry. 50. 

Draft in Civil War, 102. 

Drainage, 313. 

Dufficy, J. J \, 241. 

Dudley, John, 50. 

Dudley Mack ^Massacre, 16, 63. 

Dugger, 215. 

Dugger Enterprise, 215. 

Dugger Journal, 244. 

Dugger, Odd Fellows, 306. 

Dugger State Bank, 278. 

Duly, John, 31, 50. 

Dutton, George R., 276, 2yj. 

East Chapel. 286. 

"East and West Railroad," 150. 

Early Settlers, 33. 

Eaton Family, 51. 

Eaton, John H., 51. 

Eaton, ^lorgan, 31. 

Eaton's Mill, 198. 

Economic Aspects of the War, 96, 

Education, 118. 



Education. County Board of, 122. 

Eighty-fifth Regiment, Battles of, 

Election of i8()0, 85. 

Election of 1864, 96. 

Electit)n. l-'irst (jcneral. 31. 

Electric Light Company, 177. 

Electric Railroads, i(jo. 

Ellis l*"amily, 51. 

Engle, Alexander, 52. 

English and French Wars, 1. 

Enrolling and Draft Officers, 103. 

Ernest, William, 52. 

Estabrook. Alonzo E., 52, 169. 

Evansville & Terre Haute Rail- 
road. 148, 158. 

l-'airlianks, 216; Baptist Church, 
292 : Methodist Church. 2S/. 

Fairbanks Township. 22. 162, 313, 

Fairbanks Township Schools. 125. 

Fairbanks Township and Abolition- 
ists, 92. 

Fairs, 318. 

Farmersburg, 38, 207, 248, 298 ; 
Banks, 208, 278, 279; Churches, 
208; Schools, 207. 

Farmersburg. Odd Fellows, 306. 

Farmers' Institute, 321. 

Farmers" Mutual Benefit Associa- 
tion, 320. 

Farmers" National Bank of Sulli- 
van. 2JJ. 

Farmers" State Bank, 276. 

Farming. Pioneer, 81. 

Fifty-ninth Regiment. Battles of. 

Fire Department, Sullivan, 172. 
Fire of January, 1909, 184. 
Fires, Sullivan, 182. 
l^^irst Interurban Car, 161. 
First National Bank of Sullivan, 

First Newspaper in County, 238. 

First Practical Coal Aline, 248. 

First Public Sale of Lands, 24. 

i^'irst Railroad in State, 147. 

l""irst Rural Delivery Routes, 326. 

Plat Boating, 49, 80. 

h^lat Boats, 139; Building of, 41. 

Meming. William A.. 52. 

Fletcher, Allies J., no. 

Floods and Overflows, 313. 

Food and Necessities During War, 

, 97- 
h'oote, Ziba, 232. 

Fort Haddon, 12. 

Fort Harrison, 14. 

Fort Settlements, 10. 

Fort Wayne, 2. 

Forts of Sullivan County, 7. 

Forty-first Regiment, Battles of, 


I'orty-third Regiment, Battles of, 

fraternal Societies, 304. 

Freeman. Fletcher, 90. 

Freeman, Fletcher, Assassination 

of, 106. 

French and Indian War, 3. 

French Empire, i. 

French Lands in Sullivan County, 


Carrett, James H.. 53. 
(Jas Wells. 263. 
Giles Family. 53. 
Gilkinson. John, 53. 
Gilkinson, Robert A., 53. 
Gill Prairie, 20. 194, 315; Metho- 
dist Church. 285. 
Gill Township, 7. 26, 313, 316. 
Gill Township Library, 309. 
Gill. Robert, 12. 
Gilmour, 159. 

Good Roads Alovement. 143. 
Grang.e, The, 318, 319. 
Grant. Peter, 55. 
Ciravel Roads. 143. 



Graveyard, Sullivan, 168. 
Gray, Joseph, 165, 213. 
Gra}svillc, 213; Churches, 213; 

Schools, 125. 
Graysville Home Guards. 108. 
Greenfield, Smith, 202. 
Greenlee, William. 55. 
Griffin, William J I., 54. 
Griffith, Robert, 54. 
Griffith, \Villiam G., 54. 
Grist Mills, Earlv, 82. 
Griswold, W. D.^ 148. 
Gunn, John T., 94, 229. 

Hackney, David, 55. 
Haddon, Jesse. 212, 217. 
Haddon, John, 12, 13. 
Haddon Township, 10, 25, 26, 313. 
Hamill, Samuel R., 229, 239. 
Hamilton Township, 26. 
Hammond, John, 56. 
Hancock, Isacher, 55. 
Hancock, Owen C., 55, 
Hanna, Bayless W., 93. 
Hanna, James AI., 93, 226. 
Harris, Joel, 56. 
Harris, Airs. O. B., 311. 
Harrison, Gen. W. H., 9, 14. 
Hawkins, William H., 56. 
Hays, John T., 133. 
Heap, James, 56. 
Heavenridge, M. S., 280, 285. 
Helms, Benj. R., 236. 
Helms, Hamet N., 232, 235. 
Hendricks, Joel, 60. 
Hiatt, Stephen, 58. 
Higbee, John, 58. 
Hinkle, Jackson, 58. 
Hinkle, James W., 88. 94. 165. 
Hinkle. John AI., 232. 
Hinkle, Xathan, 57. 
Hinkle. Philip, 57. 
Hogs and Cows on Streets of Sulli- 
van. 170. 
Hoke Family, 60, 276. 

Hoke, Jacob, 60, 167. 

I loke, Jacob 1"., 276. 

1 lolder I-'amily, 12. 

Holder, Thomas, Sr., 60. 

I lolmes, Arthur, 243. 

1 lome Guards, 107. 

H()l)ewell, George. 207. 

llopkius, Cien. Samuel, Expedition, 

1 lorse Racing. Pioneer, 79. 

1 lotel AlcCanuuon,' 180, 183. 

Howard, John S., 294. 

Hughes, Thomas Allen, 59. 

Humphreys, Andrew, 103. 

Ilumphreys. E. W.. 130. 

1 liuU, John R., 51;. 

Hutchinson, David, 59. 

Hymera, 80, 208; Banks, 278; 

Churches, 211: Odd Fellows. 

306; Schools, 211; the Name. 


"Ideal District School," 127. 
Illinois & Eastern R. R. Co.. 157. 
Illiteracy in Indiana. 120. 
Improved Roads, 143. 
Indian Annals of Sullivan Countv. 

Indian Boundary. 10, 24. 
Indian Trails, 138. 
Indian Treaty of 1803. 9. 
Indian Treaty of 1809, 13. 
Indian Tribes, i. 
Indiana Boundaries, 357. 
Indiana Colonial History, I. 
Indiana, Statehood, 354. 
Indiana, Territory and State, 2)35- 
Indiana, the Xame, 7,t)7,. 
Indianapolis & Illinois Southern 

R. R., 156. 
Ingle, Joe. 1 16. 
Institutes. Township, 121. 
Interurban Railroads. 160. 
Island Levee Association. 316. 



Jackson ilill Coal Company, 253. 

Jacksonian Democrat, 238. 

Jackson Township, 25. 

Jails, 218. 

Jamison Family, 61. 

Jamison Gas Farm, 265. 

Jefferson Township, 25. 

Jefferson Township, Consolidated 

Schools, 126. 
Jenkins Family, 61. 
Jenkins, John, 61. 
Johnson, B., 30. 
Johnson, James L., 61. 
Johnson, Wyatt, 62. 
Judah, Samuel, 224, 308. 
Judicial System, 221. 

Kearns, Thomas, 131. 
Kirkham, Robert, 62. 
Knights of the Golden Circle, 100. 
Knights of Pythias, 306. 

Lafayette, City of, 2. 

Land, First Purchasers in county. 

Land Grants in Sullivan County, 8. 

Land, Jacob N., 62. 

Land, James, 62. 

Land Law of 1791, 8. 

Landmarks of Sullivan, 179. 

Land Sale, First, 24. 

Lands, Public, of Sullivan County, 

Langdon, Daniel, 109. 

LaSallc, i. 

Latshaw, Joseph, 24. 

Lawvers (see under Bench and 

Ledgerwood, James, 10. 
Ledgerwood, Samuel, 12, 198, 199. 
Ledgerwood's Mill, 15. 22, 30. 
Legislature, the First Indiana, 348. 
Levees, 314. 
Libraries, 308. 
Lisman Familv, 12. 

Lisman, John, 63. 

Lisman, Peter, 63. 

Literature Club, 191. 

Little Flock Church, 67. 

Little Flock Aleeting-house, 105. 

Local Option, 295. 

Lodges, 304. 

Log Rollings, 82. 

Loyal League, 102. 

Loyal Leaguers, 108. 

Lyon, John B., 155. 

]\IcBride, William C, 64. 
]\IcCammon, Hugh, 64. 
McCammon, Alathew, 64. 
jNIcCammon, \Mlliam, 65. 
AlcClellan, Abram, 65. 
McClellan Club, 95. 
McClure Institute and Library, 


McConnel, Andrew, 68. 

McDonald, Squire, 164. 

McKinney, Thomas R., 67. 

]McXabb, A. G., 191. 

Alackey, Thomas F., 65. 

Alahan, John R., 165. 

Mails, 141. 

]\Iammoth Coal Company, 206. 

Mammoth Schoolhouse, 127. 

Mann Family. 65. 

Mann, "Judge." 66. 

"Alann's Tavern," 66. 

Marlow, James x\., 65, 122. 

Martin, John, 202. 

Mason, James, 212. 

Masonic Hall, Sullivan, 182. 

Masonry, 304. 

Alathes, Jesse ^L, 234. 

Maxwell, John, 66. 

Maxwell, Levi, 167, 217. 

]\Iaxwell. Samuel F., 226. 

Aledicine, 47, 52, 165, 213. 214, 2^2. 

Merom, 26, 142, 224, 298 ; First 
Official County Seat, 31 ; His- 
tory of, 193 ; Incorporation of, 


38 1 

196; Methodist Cliurch, 286; the 
"Island," 196; the Name, 195. 

Merom Bluffs, 193. 

Merom Alills, 195. 

Messenger, The, 238. 

Methodist Church, 199, 280. 

Mexican War, 37. 

Milam, Henry R., 67. 

Miles, Nathan, 69. 

Military Annals, 84. 

"Militia Donations," 8. 

Miller, W. R., 232. 

Alines and Mining'. 245. 

Minich Family, 68. 

Minter. William, 69. 

"Mitchell Day," 210. 

^Mitchell. John, 210. 

]\Iodel Rural School, 125. 

Modern Woodmen of America, 

Money and Banking. 267. 

Monroe, Town of, 23. 

Moore, Hugh, 64. 

Moore, Valentine, 88. 

Morgan, Thomas, 80. 

Mt. Tabor Church, y^. 

Mt. Zion Camp Grounds, 286. 

Mullane, J. B., 184. 

Alurphy, Alexander AI., 234. 

Narrow Gauge Railroad, 153, 196. 

Nash Family, 37. 

Nathan Hinkle, Monument, 210. 

National Bank of Sullivan, 277. 

National House, 179. 

Neff, Frank, 69. 

Neff. Willis G., 88. 

Nesbit, W. R., 243. 

Newkirk, Elias, 214. 

New Lebanon, 26, 212; Methodist 

Church, 285 ; Schools, 212. 
New Lebanon Academy, 129. 
New Lebanon Central School, 126. 
New Lebanon Methodist Circuit. 


New Pittsburg. 209. ' 

New Pittsburg Coal Company, 251. 

"New Purchase," 14, 20, 24. 

Newspapers, 238. 

Nicholson Law, 303. 

Ninety-seventh Regiment, Battles 

of, 115. 
Northwest Territory, 5, 7. 

(Jdd Fellows Organizations, 305. 

OTiaver, J. K., 232, 234. 

O'Haver, Pleasant, 214. 

Oil and Gas, 263. 

"Old Purchase," 10. 

One Hundred and Fifteenth Regi- 
ment, Battles of, 115. 

One Hundred and Twenty-sixth 
Regiment, Battles of, 115. 

Opposition to Civil War, 98. 

Ordinance of 1787, 5. 

Organic Act, 27. 

Organization of Indiana Tcrritorv, 

Organization of Sullivan County, 

22, 27. 
Orr, Hugh, 164. 
Osborn, John, 70. 
Osborn, John W., 87, 242. 
Overland Traffic. 141. 
Owens, "L^ncle Billy." 70. 

Park, Richard. 122. 126. 
Parks, George, 109. 
Patrons of Husbandry, 319. 
Patterson, Chambers Y.. 225. 
Paxton, 211; Central School, 125; 

Churches, 211 ; Schools, 211. 
Paxton. J. H.. 239. 
People's Bank of Carlisle. 277. 
"People's Saturday Fairs,"' 319. 
People's State Bank of Sullivan, 

Philippine \\ ar. Sullivan County 

Soldiers in, 116. 


Physicians (see under ?kledicine). 

Pioneer Life. 8i. 82. 

Pioneer Men and Women, 33. 

Pioneer Reminiscence, 79. 

Pioneer Settlers, 25. 

Pirtle. Dr., 233. 

Pitt. William, 209. 

Pittsburg. 209, 252. 

Pleasantville, 213, 2=,2, 253, 320; 

Odd Fellows, 306. 
Pointe Coupee, 7, 9. 
Politics, 31 ; in War Times, 85. 
Pontiac's War, 3. 
Poor Asylum, 218. 
Population of Sullivan County, 

Pork Packing, Early, 49. 

Postal Service, 325; Early, 141. 

Postofifices, 326. 

Poynter, S. Paul, 242. 

Presbyterian Churches, 287. 

Press, The, 238. 

Price. Ed, 70. 

Probate Courts, 220. 221. 

Prohibition, 295. 

Prohibition Party, 300. 

Providence Christian Church. 290. 

Providence Methodist Church. 287. 

Public Library, Sullivan, 310. 

Railroads. 147. 
Railroad Celebration. 148. 
Railroad, "East and West," 150. 
Railroad House, 241. 
Railroads vs. Wagoners, 149. 
Recorders. County, 332. 
Reed, James H., 71, 165. 
Reed, William, 163. 
Register, George W., 121, 123. 
Reid. James T.. 71. 
Religion {see Churches). 
Remonstrance, 303. 
Representatives, State. 328. 
Revolutionary Soldier, 57. 

Revolutionary War, 4. 

Rhodes Scholarship Prizes, 13^. 

Ridgway, Benjamin. 37. 

Ridgeway P'amily, 71. 

Riggs. Commodore P., ^2. 

Riggs. Hezekiah, 71. 

River Trade by Flat Boat, 137. 

Riverton, 196. 

Road Building, ^Modern, 142. 

Roads. 138. 326. 

Roberts, Thomas L., '/2. 

Rogers, Edley W., 244. 

Rogers, John, 316. 

Rose Chapel, 287. 

Rose, Chauncey, 148, 263. 

Rural Free Delivery, 325. 

Saloons. Passing of, 295. 

Sanitary Commission, 109. 

Saucerman. Barnett, 182. 

Schmidt, Herman, 184. 

School, an Early on Curry's Prai- 

^ rie, 79. ' 

School Examiners, 119. 

School Population, 122, 126. 

Schools of Sullivan County. 1.18; 
Carlisle, 202; Consolidation Sys- 
tem, 125; County Superintend- 
ent, 121; Free System, 120; Sul- 
livan, 178. 

Scott. Charles, •/2. 

Scott, James, 125. 

Select Schools, 123, 129. 

Seminary, Sullivan Count}-. 128 
(see County Seminary). 

Senators, State, 328. 

Settlements. First, 7. 

Settlers in 1812 on Busseron. 15. 

Settlers, First, 25. 

Seventeenth Regiment. Battles of. 

Seventy-first Regiment, Battles of, 

Shake Family, ^y. 



Sliakertown, 18. 

Shclburn Coal Company, 205. 

Shelburn, 205 ; Coal Mining, 205 ; 
Banks, 278 ; Churches, 206 ; 
Fires, 206; Alunicipal Growth, 
206; ]\Iasonry, 304; Odd Fel- 
lows, 305 ; Schools, 206. 

Shelburn, Paschal, 205. 

Shepard, C. B., 73. 

Shepherd, Thomas, 80. 

Sheriffs, 331. 

Sherman Family, 73. 

Sherman. Thomas K., "Jt^, 277. 

Sidewalks of Sullivan, 167. 

Silver, S. H., 81. 

Slavery in Indiana. 344. 

Smith, George, 164. 

Snapp, Abraham F., 163. 

Snyder, John, 37. 

Society for Aid of Soldiers, 109. 

Soldiers Aid in Civil War, 108. 

Soldiers in Mexican Vv^ar, 85. 

Sons of Liberty, 100. 

Sons of Temperance, 295. 

Southern Indiana Railroad, 159. 

Spanish-American War, 115. 

Speake, Airs. James E., 202. 

Spencer, James, 123. 

Spencer, John W., 135. 

Springer. A. W., 94. 

Springer, Thomas, 212. 

Springer, William McK., 73. 

Sproule, James, 28, 29, 30, 198. 

"Squatter Sovereignty," 85. 

Stage Coach, 137. 

Stage Roads, 141. 

Stanley, John, 116. 

Stansii, William, 291. 

Starner, Jacob, 203. 

"Stars and Stripes," 87, 94. 

State Bank, The Indiana, 270. 

State Road. 142. 

Steamboat. First on Wabash River, 

Stewart, Isaac, 165. 

Stewart. Lafayette. 74. 172. 213. 

Streets of Sullivan. 167. 

"Strike on the Xarrow Gauge," 

Subscription Schools. 118. 

Sugar, iMrst Imported, 140. 

Sullivan, Town, 163; Banks. 276; 
Baptist Church. 291 ; Catholic 
Church, 293 ; Charter Citizens. 
167; Christian Church. 289; h'ire 
Protection. 171 ; l-'ircs in Recent 
Years, 182; (jraveyard. 168; 
High School, 179; Hotels. 179; 
in 1848. 165; in 1854. 240: In- 
corporation of, 167; Knights of 
Pythias. 306; Land Marks. 179; 
Lighting of Streets, 176; Ma- 
sonry. 304; ALethodist Church, 
282, 283 ; Alunicipal Growth, 
166; Odd Fellows. 305; Presby- 
terian Church, 287 : Public Li- 
brary, 310; Public Improve- 
ments. 185; Public Schools, 133. 
134, 178 ; Sewer Svstem. 187, 
188; Water Works. '173. 

Sullivan Cemetery, 189. 

Sullivan Democrat, 239. 

Sullivan Gas and Oil Companv, 


Sullivan Telephone Exchange 
Company, t^zt,. 

Sullivan Union, 242. 

Sullivan County. During Civil 
War. 85; Early Trade and Busi- 
ness Conditions, 268 ; First in 
Coal Industry, 248; Officials. 
328 ; Organization, 22, 2"/ ; Pub- 
lic Lands, 7 ; The Historic Back- 
ground, I. 

Sullivan County Agricultural So- 
ciety, 318. 

Sullivan County Bank, 2jG. 

Sullivan County Banner, 243. 

Sullivan County Gas Field, 265. 

Sullivan Countv Education, 118. 



Sullivan County Library. 308. 
Sullivan County Loan and Trust 

Company, 277. 
Sullivan County Aledical Society, 
^ 232. 

Surveyors, County, 332. 
"Surveys," 8. 
Swamp Lands, 314. 

Tax Sales During the Civil War, 

Teachers, Compensation of, 124. 

Tecumseh, 14, 352. 

Telephones, 323. 

Temperance, 295. 

Terrc Haute, 3. 

Terre Haute & Richmond Rail- 
road, 115. 

Thirteenth Battery, Battles of, 114. 

Thirty-first Regiment, Battles of, 

Thomas, David, 17, 193, 246. 

Thomas, Nathan, 74. 

Thompson, John ]., 165, 232, 234. 
Thompson, Walter N., 233. 
Tippecanoe, Battle of, 14, 352. 
Township Libraries, 309. 
Townsite of Sullivan, 164. 
Transportation, 137. 
^Treasurers, County, 331. 
Trimble, Joseph, 37. 
Turman, Benjamin, 22,. 
Turman Settlement, 20. 
Turman, Thomas, 75. 
Turman Township, 2^. 27, 162, 

313- 316. 
Turtle Creek, 20. 

Twenty-first Regiment, Battles of, 

Union, The, 242. 

United Brethren Church, 293. 

Union Christian College, 130. 

\'andalia Coal Company, 215. 

Vandalia Railroad, 148. 
A'an Fossen, Wilbur, 75. 
X'incennes, 2, 7, 12, 138. 
Vincennes Land District, 7. 
Voorhees, Daniel W., 88, 89, 93. 
\'oorhiss, Isaac, 149. 

Wabash Baptist Church, 13. 

Wabash River, 2, 138, 313. 

Wabash River Commerce, 137. 

Walker, George W., 75. 

Walls Family, 163. 

Walters, Samuel, t,?- 

AVar of 1812, 14. 

War of 1812, Survivor, 54. 

War with Mexico, 84. 

A\'ard A., 290. 

Water Works, Sullivan, 173, 175. 

Weir, Andrew N., 2^,^. 

Welman, C. W., 122,. 244. 

JVcstcni Sun, 12, 16, 198. 

Whalen, Richard AL, 233. 

Wheeler Family, y6. 

Wliitaker, O. B., 131. 

Whitcomb, James, 166. 

White, Robert P., 243. 

Wilkey, Frederick, y^. 

Williams, James R., 283. 

Wilson, Henry K., 76. 

Wilson, John H., 165. 

Wilson, John Harvey, yy. 

Wilson, Peter, 76. 

Wolfe, Benjamin, 78, 150. 

Wolfe, Joseph W., 153, 217, 228, 

239, 291. 
Wolfe. Thomas J., 366. 
Wolfe, Solomon, 315. 
AVoman's Christian Temperance 

Union, 297. 
Woman's Club, Sullivan, 310. 
Women of Cass Township in Civil 

\\'ar, 97. 

Young, James N., 2^y. 
Young, Jeremiah, 238. 
Youngman, S. R.. 232.- 

s- c